BREAKING: Steve Bannon Is Out At Breitbart News

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Posted: Jan 09, 2018 4:07 PM
BREAKING: Steve Bannon Is Out At Breitbart News

UPDATE: Via Paul Bedard at Washington Examiner, Breitbart News will “soldier on,” and that they have no plans to replace the outgoing executive chairman Steve Bannon:

Top executives at Breitbart News assured editors and reporters on Wednesday that there will be no changes or fallout from the surprise ouster of former chief Steve Bannon.

“We are going to soldier on and continue to fight the good fight,” said one insider.

On a conference call, CEO Larry Solov and Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow said that there is no plan to replace Bannon or shake up the staff. What’s more, there is no funding issue with the conservative website that has offices around the country and overseas.

The call gave the Washington-based staff a boost in confidence.

What’s more, Bannon has told staffers that he too continues to back the news service. “Steve is fully supportive of us,” said one.

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Steve Bannon left the White House, got into a war of words with President Trump, and now he’ll be leaving Breitbart News. There was a blowup recently between Trump and Bannon, who was quoted in Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House, calling Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russians in July of 2016 “treasonous.” The damage was done, as scores of conservatives abandoned the soon-to-be ex-executive chairman (via NYT):

Stephen K. Bannon is stepping down from his post as executive chairman of Breitbart News, the company announced Tuesday.

Mr. Bannon’s departure, which was forced by a onetime financial patron, Rebekah Mercer, comes as Mr. Bannon remained unable to quell the furor over remarks attributed to him in a new book in which he questions President Trump’s mental fitness and disparages his elder son, Donald Trump Jr.

Mr. Bannon and Breitbart will work together on a smooth transition, a statement from the company’s chief executive, Larry Solov, said.

Since the book hit the shelves, Bannon did attempt to do some damage control, which Axios reported on January 7:

"Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around."

"My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda — as I have shown daily in my national radio broadcasts, on the pages of Breitbart News and in speeches and appearances from Tokyo and Hong Kong to Arizona and Alabama."

"President Trump was the only candidate that could have taken on and defeated the Clinton apparatus. I am the only person to date to conduct a global effort to preach the message of Trump and Trumpism; and remain ready to stand in the breach for this president's efforts to make America great again."

"My comments about the meeting with Russian nationals came from my life experiences as a Naval officer stationed aboard a destroyer whose main mission was to hunt Soviet submarines to my time at the Pentagon during the Reagan years when our focus was the defeat of 'the evil empire' and to making films about Reagan's war against the Soviets and Hillary Clinton's involvement in selling uranium to them."

"My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr."

"Everything I have to say about the ridiculous nature of the Russian 'collusion' investigation I said on my 60 Minutes interview. There was no collusion and the investigation is a witch hunt."

"I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president's historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency."

There seems to be some regret expressed concerning the delayed response, though this really doesn’t come off as a true apology. Three days prior, Bannon’s financial ally, Rebekah Mercer, said they would be turning their backs on him (via WaPo):

Stephen K. Bannon's main financial backer is formally cutting ties with the former Trump adviser.

In a new statement Thursday, billionaire conservative donor Rebekah Mercer said that she has not spoken to Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, in many months and that she continues to support President Trump.

"I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected," Mercer said. "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."

Over at The Wall Street Journal, the fallout prompted talks from the front offices of Breitbart, mulling whether to oust the longtime chairman:

President Donald Trump’s growing feud with Steve Bannon is threatening the former White House strategist’s leadership of the conservative Breitbart News website and upending Mr. Bannon’s plans to wage “war” on party incumbents he deemed insufficiently loyal to the White House agenda.

Mr. Bannon’s longtime benefactors, billionaires Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, are actively distancing from him even before the expected release this week of a book that has roiled Messrs. Trump and Bannon’s relationship, according to two people close to the Mercers.

They and other Breitbart News Network LLC board members on Thursday were debating whether to oust Mr. Bannon as chairman, with many supportive of the move, according to a person familiar with the exchanges. Among the considerations are Breitbart’s contractual relationships with other entities, including Sirius XM radio, that involve Mr. Bannon.

In the wake of excerpts of Wolff’s book being published in New York Magazine, the Trump White House issued a scathing statement against the former White House strategist, with the president saying that Bannon had lost his mind.

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said. 

Even Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh decided to run away from Bannon. As Larry O'Connor,  former editor for Breitbart TV, said, how do you run a website, like Breitbart, when the principles of the conservative movement have all denounced you. Well, today was the answer to that question.