Steve Bannon leaves Breitbart days after explosive Trump book

Steve Bannon leaves Breitbart days after explosive Trump book

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Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has left Breitbart News.

It comes days after he was quoted criticising the President in Michael Wolff’s explosive book, Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House.

Mr Bannon, who was previously Mr Trump’s closest confidant, questioned his former boss’ mental stability and claimed those close to the President described him as a “moron, an idiot”.

The 64-year-old later expressed “regret” over his place in the book.

Some of Breitbart’s financial backers and political supporters have pulled out after Mr Bannon’s claims.

A statement released on the Breitbart website said: “Stephen K Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart News Network, where he served as executive chairman since 2012.”

Breitbart chief executive Larry Solov said: “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.”

Mr 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.”

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During the US election trail Breitbart became one of the go-to sources of information for those supporting the Trump campaign.

The Breitbart board, including the Mercers, Larry Solov and Susie Breitbart, have reportedly spent the past few days debating whether Mr Bannon needed to go.

All board members were united in voting for him to be ousted and Mr Bannon was contacted on Monday to be told he had to go, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Former investment banker and US Navy officer Mr Bannon was a founding member of the board of Breitbart News in 2007.

He became executive chair of its parent company in 2012 after founder Andrew Breitbart died.

Breitbart then went down a more nationalistic route, with Mr Bannon describing the site in 2016 as “the platform for the alt-right”.

He was appointed chief executive of Mr Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, leaving Breitbart and becoming chief strategist for Mr Trump when he won.

In August last year he was fired following a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville which became violent.

Mr Trump accused “many sides” for the violence, under the guidance of Mr Bannon, which resulted in him being sacked.

The pair were reportedly still in close contact until the release of Fire And Fury, which prompted a public slanging match between the two.

Mr Bannon was reportedly paid a $191,000 (£141,000) annual salary at Breitbart and earns $353,000 (£260,700) more from three other positions in companies backed by the Mercer family.

(c) Sky News 2018: Steve Bannon leaves Breitbart days after explosive Trump book