Only 3 days ago, Breitbart CEO Larry Solov called Steve Bannon a “liability”, today, Solov claims they “will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped up to accomplish.”
As the war of words between the President of the United States and Steve Bannon rages over comments in a new book, one question remains on the minds of those who were friends of the man whose website Bannon now runs: Can it survive without him?
Breitbart News was founded by the late Andrew Breitbart and his childhood friend Larry Solov as several separate sites, the “Bigs,” they were called. Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism, etc. The names were a play on the liberal penchant for demonizing entire industries by labeling them as “big” and using it against liberal sacred cows – think big oil, big tobacco, big pharma.
Around the time of Breitbart’s death, the individual sites were rolled into one: Breitbart News.
After Andrew’s death in March 2012, Steve Bannon became the effective head of the company, though Solov and Breitbart’s widow retained ownership control. –Daily Caller
It was just announced today, that Steve Bannon has officially stepped down from his post at Breitbart.
Stephen K. Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart News Network, where he served as Executive Chairman since 2012.
Bannon and Breitbart will work together on a smooth and orderly transition.
Bannon said, “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.”
According to Breitbart CEO Larry Solov, “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
Steve Bannon has been heavily criticized by President Trump and by his supporters after quotes from the discredited author Michael Wolff, in his new anti-Trump book, “Fire and Fury” were released, suggesting that Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort were all guilty of treason for meeting with Russian lawyers, prior to the 2016 presidential election.
Trump came out swinging at Bannon with this tweet, where he unleashed on the author Michael Wolff today: I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!
I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
And again, just before midnight on the same day Wolff’s book was released, Trump slammed “Sloppy Steve” and author Michael Wolff, who Trump calls a “total loser who made up stories to sell this really boring and untruthful book” in his latest tweet:
Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad! https://t.co/mEeUhk5ZV9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018
Steve Bannon released a statement to explain, in his own words, how he feels about President Trump and about his son, Donald Jr.
From Breitbart – Stephen K. Bannon, executive chair of Breitbart News and former White House chief strategist, issued the following statement on Sunday:
“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.”
Just before the 2016 presidential election, billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer announced that he would step down as co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies at the beginning of 2018 and intends to sell his stake in Breitbart News. In a moving letter, Mercer explained his reasons for turning over his shares of Breitbart to his daughter Rebekah. Here is an excerpt of that letter that was published by Breitbart:
The press has also intimated that my politics marches in lockstep with Steve Bannon’s. I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him. However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon’s.
Without individuals thinking for themselves, society as a whole will struggle to distinguish the signal of truth from the correlated noise of conformity. I supported Milo Yiannopoulos in the hope and expectation that his expression of views contrary to the social mainstream and his spotlighting of the hypocrisy of those who would close down free speech in the name of political correctness would promote the type of open debate and freedom of thought that is being throttled on many American college campuses today. But in my opinion, actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate. I was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him.
For personal reasons, I have also decided to sell my stake in Breitbart News to my daughters.
I would also like to inform you of a decision I have reached with respect to my role at Renaissance, an organization I adore with colleagues whom I deeply respect and admire. I am 71 years old, the same age that Jim Simons was when he retired. I do not plan to retire, but I do plan to relinquish my management responsibilities.
Last week, Rebekah Mercer announced that she did not support Steve Bannon and is taking the side of President Trump.
The Hill – An influential conservative donor on Thursday distanced herself from the “political agenda” of President Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, amid his feud with the president.
“I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected,” billionaire conservative donor Rebekah Mercer said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
“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,” she continued.
The Daily Caller reports that to say things changed when Steve took over is to say the sun is bright. Matt Drudge, a close friend of Breitbart’s and former supporter called Bannon “schizophrenic.”
Bannon is “a blot on the conservative movement and a detriment to Breitbart News more broadly, as he always was,” says Ben Shapiro, a good friend of Andrew’s and editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire.
Dana Loesch, nationally syndicated radio host and author who served as editor-in-chief of Big Journalism was equally as blunt. “He should have never been in this position in the first place. Bannon has turned that website into the Media Matters of the right,” Loesch said.