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Trump supporters: Bannon's banishment no big loss

CHICAGO: Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon's firing has been met with a collective shrug by some of President Donald Trump's most committed supporters who argue the controversial nationalist became an obstacle to the administration's agenda.

In interviews in multiple cities this weekend, Americans who voted for Mr Trump said Mr Bannon's departure on Friday was the removal of an unnecessary distraction for the Trump presidency, while others saw his role as largely inconsequential and possibly overblown. Many expected Mr Trump to stay the course without him.

SPOTLIGHT

"Bannon was becoming too big of a story and taking the spotlight from President Trump," Mr Bob Janda, a 67-year-old small business owner, said in a bar in Chicago. "I think Trump will be fine."

At the same bar, Mr Frank Cardone, 67, pointed out that Mr Bannon had only a brief tenure in Mr Trump's inner circle, having joined the Republican businessman's presidential campaign as its chief executive less than three months before the Nov 8 election.

"Bannon wasn't with Trump for too long, so it's no big loss," said Mr Cardone, a retired electrician.

Mr Bannon's exit gives Mr Trump a chance to distance himself from "fringe" politics, said Mr Mike Corbitt, a machinist from Florida's West Palm Beach.

"He (Mr Trump) needs to be more centre-right because the far right and the far left is not where America is," Mr Corbitt, 48, said at a Fort Lauderdale bar.

"Steve Bannon was great for getting Trump elected, but now the president needs someone who can get his policies enacted." - REUTERS

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