“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,” Rebekah Mercer said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Breitbart executives, along with Mercer, who holds a minority stake, discussed pushing Bannon out of the company he helped make famous, according to four people familiar with the discussions. Among their concerns in doing so is the reaction of hard-line conservatives, who make up much of the site’s readership, and also of Bannon, who would be unlikely to leave quietly, the sources said.
Friends of the Mercers working at the White House privately shared their view that Bannon’s ouster from Breitbart would be well-received by the president, who has been irritated for months with Bannon’s rising profile even as the two continued to talk by phone. A Bannon representative declined to comment.
“I certainly think that it’s something they should look at and consider,” Sanders told reporters Thursday.
One person close to Trump said, “The president’s take is that everyone has to now make a choice: ‘It’s me or it’s Steve.’ ”
Lawyers for Trump have accused Bannon of breaking a confidentiality agreement by making critical comments about Trump and his family in a forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolff. The president said in a statement Wednesday that Bannon has “lost his mind” since leaving his perch at the White House in August.
Those remarks have effectively undermined Bannon’s standing as leader in the motley movement that swept Trump into office, while giving ammunition to his foes in the Republican Party who have long warned that he will be an electoral liability.