The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Loose Bannon

President Trump fired Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart editor who helped fuel Trump's rise.

Win McNamee / Reuters

Today in 5 Lines

President Trump fired Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart editor who helped fuel Trump's rise. Friends of the ousted White House chief strategist told The Atlantic he’s “going nuclear.” Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer reversed his position on taking down a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, saying he will instead push for its immediate removal. In a letter, the members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities announced their resignation from the advisory group, citing Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville. Trump met with his national-security team at Camp David to discuss U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Being Black in Charlottesville: White-supremacist rallies aren’t a new threat for the black residents of Charlottesville, Virginia. The city has a legacy of white supremacy that many in the community experienced firsthand. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

  • It Won’t Get Better: People want to believe that Steve Bannon’s exit will end the white nationalist, Islamophobic, and nativist ideas coming from the White House. “Alas,” writes Peter Beinart, “that’s almost certainly not the case.”

  • The Women Behind the ‘Alt-Right’: There are plenty of women involved in the alt-right movement, but the presence at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last weekend was overwhelmingly male. The reason for that, reports Caroline Kitchener, comes down to how the group sees gender.

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates and Yoni Appelbaum on Charlottesville's Aftermath: After white supremacists and neo-Nazis rallied in Virginia, resulting in the deaths of three Americans, President Trump's equivocating responses shocked Republicans and Democrats alike. Did this represent a major breakpoint in American politics? Why have Confederate symbols and ideas suddenly returned to the public sphere, not to mention HBO? And how should Americans comprehend the relationship between these extremist currents and the Trump administration? In a new episode of Radio Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Yoni Appelbaum explore these questions with Jeffrey Goldberg, Alex Wagner, and Matt Thompson.

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


A counter-protester wields an axe over his head as opponents gather after a report of a rally by white nationalists was disseminated over social media, in Durham, North Carolina. Jonathan Drake / Reuters

What We’re Reading

Rise and Fall: After nearly a year working for team Trump—including seven months of political infighting and high-profile legislative failures—White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has finally been ousted from the administration. (Tiny Nguyen, Vanity Fair)

How to Chauffeur a Congressman: An eight-page memo obtained by Politico provides detailed instructions for escorting Indiana Representative Todd Rokita around the district. Tip: Always have black coffee at the ready, and don’t bother with small talk. (John Bresnahan and Rachael Bade)

What Is Antifa?: Members of the “anti-fascist” movement clashed with white nationalists during last weekend’s mayhem in Charlottesville, Virginia. Many of its adherents believe “the ascendant new right in the country requires a physical response.” (Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer, and Serge F. Kovaleski, The New York Times)

To Remove or Not to Remove: On Thursday, President Trump tweeted that removing Confederate statues destroys “the history and culture of our great country.” The statement might rank as one of his least controversial among the general public because many Americans aren't sure how they feel about the issue. (Clare Malone, FiveThirtyEight)

The ACLU Is Wrong: The Second Amendment is under attack, argues David French, despite the fact that white supremacists at the rally in Charlottesville “used virtually every form of weapon except guns.” (National Review)


Disappearing Act: This photo, captured on January 28, 2017, shows Donald Trump’s rapidly disappearing inner circle. (Johnny Simon, Quartz)

Question of the Week

Often in moments of public crisis, people turn to books or readings to make sense of it. This week, we asked you what books or readings you turn to for comfort or reflection in uncertain times. Here’s what you said:

Garrision from Virginia said Superman comics have always helped him to reflect:

From his earliest appearances in the 1930's, he has been a progressive figure fighting for all people. Action Comics #775, a story entitled "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" encapsulates this: When a new group of "heroes" become popular for their hyper violent methods, Superman takes the opportunity to show them, and the world, that there's always a better way—that violence doesn't have to be the answer … I like to think that Superman is right, and that "a world where dignity, honor, and justice becomes the reality we all share" can be made.

And Annie, from Massachusetts, says she likes to read “Anne of Green Gables” for a little joy and peace: “It enchants me each time I read it, and is my good medicine to mend any heartache, especially one I feel for our nation at the present time.”

We also created a reading list of The Atlantic’s coverage of the long legacy of Confederate symbols.

Thanks to everyone who submitted responses, and stay tuned for next week’s Question of the Week.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)