Metro Weekly

Steve Bannon steps down as executive chairman of Breitbart News

Right-wing site severs ties with former White House adviser after new book reveals comments criticizing Trump and family

Steve Bannon – Photo: Gage Skidmore.

Former presidential adviser Steve Bannon has stepped down as executive chairman of Breitbart News, after a new book revealed comments he made that were critical of the president and his family.

Breitbart, a right-wing populist website that often offers flattery of the Trump administration, announced the news on Tuesday, saying it would work with Bannon to ensure a “smooth and orderly transition.”

“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 the site.

“Steve is a valued part of our legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish,” Breitbart CEO Larry Solov said in a statement.

Bannon, who left his White House post as the president’s chief strategist in August to return to his position at Breitbart, had a very public falling out with President Trump after he was quoted in a new book criticizing members of Trump’s family and inner circle.

In Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, Bannon slammed the president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign.

Bannon reportedly called the decision to take the meeting “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

After the comments came to light, Trump severed all ties with Bannon, blasting him in a statement and saying that Bannon — long thought to be the architect behind the Trump campaign’s appeals to the alt-right and to the politics of racial and economic resentment — deserved no credit for helping Trump win the presidency.

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump said in that statement. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican Party.”

Fox News notes that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked last week if Breitbart should sever ties with Bannon, to which she responded: “I certainly think it’s something they should consider and look at.”

Bannon’s departure from Breitbart leaves him temporarily without a major media platform from which to lodge a populist campaign. When he initially left his post in the Trump administration, Bannon had said he felt he could be more effective in fighting for the president’s political agenda — a campaign that would essentially declare all-out war against the media, corporate America, and the Washington political establishment — outside of the White House.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com