President Trump still has phone conversations with Steve Bannon behind White House chief of staff John Kelly's back, according to a report Thursday.
People familiar with the calls told The Washington Post that when Kelly isn't around, Trump uses his personal phone to talk to Bannon, his former chief strategist, and other business friends and outside advisers.
Bannon left the Trump administration in mid-August and quickly rejoined Brietbart News as executive chairman. In interviews following his departure, Bannon said "the Trump presidency we fought for is over," but indicated that he would continue supporting the president when their agendas matched.
Since Kelly replaced Reince Priebus as chief of staff late last month, the former Marine Corps general has reportedly brought a sense of discipline to a West Wing beset by leaks and infighting.
While Kelly has taken steps to control the information and people who have access to Trump, he has told colleagues that he won't attempt to rein in Trump's often inflammatory tweets, the Post reported.
Roger Stone, a former Trump adviser and longtime confidant, told the Post that Trump "resists being handled."
"Nobody tells him who to see, who to listen to, what to read, what he can say." Stone said. "General Kelly is trying to treat the president like a mushroom. Keeping him in the dark and feeding him shit is not going to work. Donald Trump is a free spirit."