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'Hard push' to oust Bannon at Breitbart after incendiary comments

Steve Bannon's future as executive chairman of the far-right website Breitbart has been thrown into question after ex...

Posted: Jan 5, 2018 11:07 AM
Updated: Jan 5, 2018 11:07 AM

Steve Bannon's future as executive chairman of the far-right website Breitbart has been thrown into question after excerpts published from a forthcoming book quoted Bannon making a number of incendiary comments about President Trump and his administration.

A person familiar with the matter told CNN that there has been a "hard push" to convince Breitbart CEO Larry Solov and Susie Breitbart, the widow of website founder Andrew Breitbart, to fire Bannon.

Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Breitbart's board members were debating whether or not to oust Bannon, and on Thursday afternoon Rebekah Mercer, the conservative mega-donor who owns a stake in Breitbart, publicly rebuked Bannon in a rare public statement.

"I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected," Mercer said in the statement, which was provided 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."

The New York Times reported the Mercers had even gone so far as to cut off funding for Bannon's private security detail.

Related: Wolff's Trump book going on sale four days early amid furor

Inside Breitbart staffers were left in the dark, people familiar with internal deliberations told CNN.

"Internally, we've been told nothing," one staffer told CNN. "Everything most in the company know about Steve Bannon's situation is coming from press accounts."

The pressure for Breitbart to sever ties with Bannon increased dramatically on Thursday.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Breitbart should "part ways" with Bannon, to which she said, "I certainly think that is something they should look at and consider."

Earlier in the day, conservative news heavyweight Matt Drudge, who worked with Andrew Breitbart for years and who has taken shots at Bannon before, tweeted that Solov and Susie Breitbart "will take Breitbart into the fresh future." His website also linked to a story speculating about whether Bannon would survive, asking in his headline, "BREITBART SHAKE-UP?"

Bannon also drew criticism from Rush Limbaugh, who said on his radio show Thursday that Bannon was "the big leaker" during his time in the White House.

"When you've lost Drudge and you've lost Rush," said Larry O'Connor, a former Breitbart editor and friend of Andrew Breitbart's, "how do you run the website bearing Andrew Breitbart's name?"

Neither Bannon or a spokesperson for Breitbart provided comment about his future at Breitbart. The Breitbart spokesperson, who doubles as a Bannon spokesperson, also did not respond to requests for comment about whether funding for Bannon's private security detail had been cut off or whether Breitbart staffers had been left in the dark about Bannon's future at the company.

Bannon joined Trump's presidential campaign as its CEO in summer 2016, and then served as the White House's chief strategist until leaving in August of last year and returning to Breitbart.

He drew the ire of the White House and his other allies this week when The Guardian revealed that author Michael Wolff quoted him in his book "Fire and Fury" as saying the Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign was "unpatriotic" and perhaps "treasonous."

Trump responded by slamming Bannon in a fiery statement, saying Bannon had "lost his mind."

Before Trump released his Wednesday statement, Bannon was almost finished crafting his own statement with his close advisers, a person familiar with the matter told CNN. In fact, Bannon was just "minutes away" from releasing the statement that would have, in part, said some of his comments were taken out of context.

But, as The Hill first reported, that plan was abandoned when Trump released his statement and it became clear Bannon's planned effort would not be enough to salvage his relationship with the president.

Bannon instead avoided commenting at length on his feud with Trump, only praising his former boss as a "great man" on Breitbart radio and saying he still supports the Trump agenda.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 153270

Reported Deaths: 3807
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10249104
Hinds10095199
Harrison7173111
Jackson6440124
Rankin5705103
Lee517095
Madison4902107
Forrest385986
Jones361788
Lauderdale3567147
Lafayette329752
Washington3197108
Lamar294750
Oktibbeha248462
Bolivar242484
Lowndes240464
Panola224852
Neshoba2225118
Marshall219450
Leflore206891
Pontotoc202429
Monroe201078
Lincoln192865
Sunflower191955
Warren177757
Tate175351
Union169526
Copiah165440
Pike163958
Yazoo157940
Scott156630
Itawamba155635
Pearl River153468
Alcorn152828
Coahoma151043
Simpson150353
Prentiss148431
Adams143151
Grenada141445
Leake138344
Holmes131561
Tippah126730
George126225
Covington124639
Winston123726
Hancock122840
Wayne119023
Marion117346
Attala116134
Tishomingo110042
Chickasaw108332
Newton107529
Tallahatchie97427
Clarke92453
Clay92327
Jasper83522
Stone78515
Calhoun77713
Walthall76929
Montgomery75425
Carroll73815
Lawrence72614
Smith72116
Yalobusha72028
Noxubee71917
Perry67726
Tunica61819
Greene60822
Claiborne58816
Jefferson Davis57817
Amite55214
Humphreys54319
Benton49618
Quitman4947
Webster45014
Kemper44218
Wilkinson40122
Jefferson35711
Franklin3485
Choctaw3457
Sharkey31717
Issaquena1174
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 247229

Reported Deaths: 3577
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32718500
Mobile19904362
Madison13425148
Tuscaloosa13167154
Montgomery12380236
Shelby1046577
Baldwin882098
Lee778566
Morgan675150
Calhoun6366121
Etowah635166
Marshall630955
Houston532338
DeKalb489736
Cullman447442
Limestone430245
St. Clair425755
Lauderdale413354
Elmore409464
Walker3689111
Talladega353554
Jackson327123
Colbert314642
Blount294640
Autauga275142
Franklin254233
Coffee246515
Dale234454
Dallas226532
Chilton225038
Russell22313
Covington220334
Escambia198631
Chambers177250
Tallapoosa177091
Pike159214
Clarke158919
Marion141336
Winston134423
Lawrence129636
Pickens124218
Geneva12378
Marengo122524
Bibb118817
Barbour117511
Butler117342
Randolph103821
Cherokee102924
Hale97731
Fayette92216
Clay92024
Washington91619
Henry8676
Lowndes79929
Monroe79011
Cleburne77414
Macon74522
Crenshaw71230
Bullock70019
Perry6896
Conecuh68514
Lamar6838
Wilcox63918
Sumter58422
Greene42718
Choctaw42613
Coosa3464
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