Breitbart News Network's board of directors is considering ousting embattled Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon after President Trump publicly disavowed him, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal, citing a person familiar with the exchanges, says board members on Thursday were debating whether to oust Bannon from his position after Bannon called the June 2016 Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer "treasonous," according to Michael Wolff's new bombshell bookand after Mr. Trump issued a scathing statement saying Bannon has "lost his mind." Billionaire donor, board member and longtime supporter of Bannon's work Rebekah Mercer issued a statement published in The Washington Post on Thursday saying her family has severed financial ties with Bannon.
The president's strongly worded statement distancing himself from Bannon has given many supporters of Bannon and the president a seemingly binary choice — support Mr. Trump, or support Bannon. Mercer's statement made it clear that she stands with the president.
"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," Mercer said in the statement issued to the Washington Post.
CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett has reported, based on two sources with direct knowledge, thatto sever all ties with Bannon in the wake of the release of "Fire and Fury." Rebekah Mercer's father, Robert Mercer, had already publicly distanced himself from Bannon and Breitbart, already stepped down from his hedge fund last year and sold his shares in Breitbart to his daughters.
Mr. Trump praised the Mercer daughter's statement on Friday morning, saying it was a "smart" move to break with "Sloppy Steve."
Bannon's political capital had already fallen considerably after, accused of inappropriately pursuing teenage girls when he was in his 30s, lost the Alabama special Senate election to Democrat Doug Jones.
It's unclear who will financially back Breitbart now, or who might replace Bannon if he departs.
Breitbart News, established in 2007 by the late conservative writer Andrew Breitbart, came into Bannon's hands in the spring of 2012. Since then, Bannon has given the website a more nationalist and more populist flair, and the outlet became a key news source for candidate Donald Trump's — and subsequently President Trump's — supporters.