Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, has been forced out of his post after a public feud with President Trump. Bannon’s position became imperiled after he was quoted in Michael Wolff’s newly released book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, disparaging the president and his family.
Among other things, Bannon described a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives as “treasonous.” Trump was particularly incensed with Bannon, saying in a statement Bannon had “lost his mind.” He also started to refer to Bannon on Twitter as Sloppy Steve.
Bannon’s comments about Trump prompted Rebekah Mercer, a minority owner of Breitbart, to issue a rare public statement rebuking Bannon. The Mercer family, particularly Rebekah’s father Robert, was a primary source of funding for many of Bannon’s ventures.
My family and I have not communicated with Steve Bannon in many months and have provided no financial support to his political agenda, nor do we support his recent actions and statements
After a few days, Bannon tried to say that his comments had been misinterpreted. But his pseudo-apology was too late.
Bannon’s troubles, however, predated his cooperation with Wolff’s controversial book. He was heavily criticized by many Republicans for throwing his support, and the support of Breitbart, behind Roy Moore, even after Moore was accused of child sexual assault. Bannon even went to Alabama to campaign with the candidate before he lost to Democrat Doug Jones. Bannon also supported Moore in the Republican primary over Luther Strange, Trump’s preferred candidate.
Last fall, Breitbart was exposed for laundering the views of white nationalists through the columns of Milo Yiannopoulos, a Bannon protégé. Although Yiannopoulos had already left the site, the story was the source of embarrassment for the Mercer family. It also created pressure for wealthy institutions to divest from Robert Mercer’s hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies. In November, under pressure from investors, Robert Mercer left his management position with Renaissance, sold his ownership stake in Breitbart, and disavowed Yiannopoulos.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.