Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has stepped down from his role as executive chairman of Breitbart News Network after a very public break with President Donald Trump.
BREAKING: Former White House strategist Steve Bannon steps down from Breitbart News Network after public break with Trump.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 9, 2018
“I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform,” Bannon said in a statement on Breitbart.
Bannon departed from the media network he declared as “the platform for the alt-right” after he was quoted in Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” as saying Donald Trump Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting in 2016 with a group of Russians was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
Bannon eventually apologized for the comments, but the White House rejected his apology, and Trump had issued a statement minimizing Bannon’s role in his campaign and administration. Trump declared that Bannon had “lost his mind.”
According to The New York Times, Bannon was forced out of Breitbart by billionaire investor Rebekah Mercer, who had already cut ties with him this month during the feud with Trump, though the company’s board was reportedly united in its decision.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Breitbart board—Mercers, Larry Solov and Susie Breitbart—spent recent days debating whether Bannon needed to go. In the end, they were united on his ouster. Mercers contacted Bannon thru intermediary on Monday to tell him it was time to go, per source.</p>— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) <a href=”https://twitter.com/rebeccaballhaus/status/950841214181478400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 9, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Bannon became executive chair in 2012 after founder Andrew Breitbart’s death. In August 2016, Bannon joined Trump’s presidential campaign as chief executive. Bannon rejoined Breitbart in August of 2017 after he resigned from the White House. The White House said at the time it was a mutual decision between Bannon and Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Bannon had left the White House just under a week after the violent neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA. It’s believed Trump’s decision to blame “many sides” for the violence — counterprotesters were attacked and one killed by white supremacists — came from Bannon.