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Report: Steve Bannon stepping down as executive chairman at Breitbart News

Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 @ 4:27 PM
By: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Executive chairman of Breitbart News and former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is leaving his job at the conservative-leaning website.

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The company announced the move on Tuesday in a short post on its website.

“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,” Breitbart CEO Larry Solov said in the statement, which also included a comment from Bannon.

“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,” Bannon said.

Later Tuesday, Bannon tweeted that Breitbart “has come along way and has really just begun its mission.”

“And you have not heard the last from me,” he said.

Bannon’s ouster follows the publication of an inflammatory new book on the Trump White House with scathing comments attributed to Bannon.

Bannon questioned Trump’s mental stability and told author Michael Wolff in Wolff’s new book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” that he thought a meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer in June of 2016 was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers,” Wolff quoted Bannon as saying in the book. “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad (expletive), and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

In another quote from the book attributed to Bannon, he predicted authorities would get Don Jr. "They're going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Wolff quoted Bannon as saying.

Excerpts from the book started surfacing last week and Trump and White House staffers spent most of last week denying most of Wolff’s descriptions of an Oval Office in tumoil and a president coming unhinged.

However, Bannon didn’t respond until Sunday when he tried to walk back some of the comments without officially apologizing.

>> Related: 10 stunning claims about Trump White House from 'Fire and Fury'

"Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man," Bannon said in a statement Sunday first reported by Axios.

"He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around."

"I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president's historical accomplishments in the first year of (Trump's) presidency," Bannon also included in the statement. 

Bannon left the White House last summer and returned to his position as executive chairman at Breitbart News, but reports indicated he had fallen out of favor with wealthy conservative backers as his comments in Wolff’s book surfaced.