Still reeling from the backlash over his derisive comments about the Trump family that appeared in an explosive new book, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon stepped down from his post as executive chairman of Breitbart News on Tuesday—a move reportedly forced by the outlet's right-wing patron Rebekah Mercer.
"Bannon still thinks of himself as a revolutionary. That self-perception won't change. It's just that now he has no vehicle, no staff, no platform, and no major donors funding his ambitions."
—Jonathan Swan, Axios
"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 in a statement on Tuesday.
Bannon became the subject of countless headlines last week after his remarks to author Michael Wolff were made public for the first time by the Guardian, which obtained a copy of Wolff's book Fire and Fury just ahead of its publication.
On Sunday, Bannon—who President Donald Trump has taken to calling "Sloppy Steve"—attempted to walk back his characterization of Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic" by insisting that Don Jr. is "both a patriot and a good man."
The apology didn't fly with the White House, however. Nor was it enough for Bannon to keep his job, despite his reported insistence "as late as this weekend" that he "would continue to thrive" at Breitbart.
Speaking with Axios's Jonathan Swan, one source close to the White House expressed shock at how quickly Bannon folded under the weight of recent controversies.
"God, I can't believe the whole movement just collapsed on this guy. He's done," the source said.
"Bannon still thinks of himself as a revolutionary," Swan concluded shortly after news that Bannon was ousted from Breitbart emerged. "That self-perception won't change. It's just that now he has no vehicle, no staff, no platform, and no major donors funding his ambitions."