White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the nationalist firebrand who helped to fuel Donald Trump's dizzying rise to the presidency, is leaving the administration.
"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Stock markets rose after Bannon's departure was reported.
Traders on the New York Stock Exchange literally cheered the news. They had been fearful of a possible departure of former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn as Trump's top economic aide. Bannon had battled with Cohn and other former Wall Streeters in the administration.
A person close to Bannon said the chief strategist first decided to leave, according to The New York Times. Bannon submitted his resignation on Aug. 7, but the announcement was delayed after violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, the newspaper reported.
When the Times reported the news of Bannon's departure earlier Friday, it said Trump and his aides were deciding when and how to dismiss him and announce the move. Kelly had reportedly been reviewing Bannon's future in the White House.
Bannon helped to power Trump to the White House with populist nationalist ideas that left many critics questioning his fitness to work as a top administration official.