The news follows the release of Michael Wolff’s high-profile book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which quotes Bannon making highly critical comments about Donald Trump and his family.
Bannon co-founded Brietbart News in 2012 and, after heading up Trump’s presidential campaign, he returned as Executive Chairman in 2017. He has described the controversial right-wing site as “the platform for the alt-right.”
A brief statement on the Breitbart website notes “Bannon and Breitbart will work together on a smooth and orderly transition.”
The statement goes on to quote Bannon: “I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a word-class news platform.”
Bannon’s exit from Brietbart has been strongly linked to the fallout from Wolff’s book. Most notably, Bannon told Wolff that Donald Trump Jr’s 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer was “treasonous”.
Bannon’s departure from Breitbart caps a dramatic fall from prominence.
After working as an investment banker and Hollywood producer, he had risen quickly to be a key Trump confidante. He had encouraged Trump to run for the presidency, but their relationship later soured quickly and dramatically.
Before the pair’s falling out, Bannon’s ideas had been widely influential within the Trump government and he was credited with shaping policy and co-writing Trump’s inauguration address.
According to National Review, Bannon had “done more than any other person to introduce the…alt-right into mainstream American life”. He had advocated reducing immigration levels and placing restrictions on free trade with China and Mexico.
Trump recently took to Twitter to ridicule the man he now calls ‘Sloppy Steve’, claiming Bannon tearfully begged to keep his job and had been “used” by Wolff.
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
Wolff has suggested that it was more like Bannon using Trump. He told National Public Radio that Bannon made the President his ‘vessel’.
“Steve Bannon is responsible for Donald Trump’s election. And Steve has a singular vision about where he thinks the country should be and what has to happen to make America great again. And that’s what he went into the White House to do…he thought Donald Trump was his vessel to do this.”
The schism between Trump and Bannon also saw the latter lose the support of billionaire patron Rebekah Mercer, who was a key financial donor to both Breitbart and the Trump presidential campaign.
The Mercer Family recently dumped the leaker known as Sloppy Steve Bannon. Smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
Bannon had recently thrown his support behind the Republican Alabama state senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of a number of sexual assaults. Bannon’s political stocks suffered and his political judgement was widely questioned when Moore experienced a surprising defeat in the December election.
The end came quickly for Bannon. As recently as Monday (January 8 2018), he was telling people he would weather the storm and stay on at Breitbart, reported the Associated Press.