Stephen K. Bannon is stepping down from his post as executive chairman at Breitbart News Network. He will also no longer host its satellite-radio program. According to a statement from the company’s chief executive, Larry Solov, Bannon and Breitbart will work together on a smooth transition.
Bannon was named chief executive of the Trump campaign two and a half months before Election Day. After the win, he accompanied Mr. Trump to the White House and became his chief strategist. He was pushed out after less than eight months after numerous conflicts with Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, and Jared Kushner, her husband and Mr. Trump’s senior adviser.
After resuming his position at Breitbart, Bannon set out to challenge Republican incumbents deemed insufficiently loyal to the Trump administration. His support of Roy S. Moore in Alabama ended in an embarrassing loss.
He most recently came under fire over remarks attributed to him in a new book. The comments appeared in author Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” published last week. Many were outraged that Bannon questioned President Trump’s mental fitness and disparaged his elder son, Donald Trump Jr., calling his actions “treasonous.”
Trump replied to Bannon’s comments with fury, saying “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” Breitbart’s readers seemed to side with Trump in the spat. Bannon’s departure was forced by his onetime financial patron, Rebekah Mercer. Mercer and her father, hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, own a minority share of Breitbart.
Rebekah Mercer released a statement saying, “I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected.” She added that her family had “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.”
As late as last weekend, Bannon continued to tell people that he planned to stay in charge at Breitbart and that Solov supported him. The resignation effectively ends his relationship with the far-right website that he helped become a household name. He now has no evident platform for promoting his views and no major financial backer for his preferred candidates.