There are new developments in the feud between President Donald Trump and his former advisor, Steve Bannon.
As we reported yesterday, the Guardian published a piece discussing an interview author Michael Wolff conducted with Bannon in which the former advisor slammed the president, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. After the story broke, the president berated his former advisor in a strongly-worded statement.
So far, it appears that this conflict has damaged Bannon far more than Trump. In fact, there are signs that Bannon’s influence on the political stage might be declining.
The Mercers Abandon Bannon
The Mercer family, a major source of conservative donations backing Bannon’s projects for years, has cut ties with the former advisor. In fact, they began distancing themselves from Bannon last year. On Thursday, Rebekah Mercer stated that she still supports Trump and that she had not spoken with Bannon for months. “I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected,” she said. “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.”
According to The Washington Post, Bannon had irritated Mercer when he boasted that she would support him if he ran for president. She was also irked by the fact that Bannon doubled down on his support for Roy Moore even in the face of allegations of sexual abuse with teenage girls. The Post also stated that Mercer criticized Bannon for making remarks “that seemed to stoke unnecessary fights.”
Bannon losing his primary financial backer strikes a massive blow to his political ambitions. He has relied on their support for years; indeed, the Mercers were the reason he became the head of Trump’s campaign in the first place. But that’s not the worst of it. It appears that Bannon could also be losing one of his most lethal weapons: Breitbart News.
Breitbart’s Board of Directors Considers Firing Bannon
When Trump fired Bannon earlier in 2017, the former advisor regained control of conservative media outlet Breitbart News. He stated that his ouster gave him more power because he could use the influence of the popular news site to pursue Trump’s agenda from the outside.
Unfortunately for Bannon, he could be losing that platform as well. The Hill reported that board members of Breitbart News Network LLC were considering removing Bannon, and that many members of the board support Bannon’s firing. This makes sense, considering that the majority of Breitbart’s readership sided with Trump during the feud.
The Demise of Bannon’s Influence
Steve Bannon’s prospects don’t look promising. He made a fatal mistake in attacking President Trump and his family. The fact that the Mercers are cutting ties with the former advisor shows that Bannon has lost a key supporter and financial backer. Moreover, if Breitbart News decides to fire him, he’ll have been stripped of his platform.
It’s clear that Bannon has made himself a toxic figure. Previously, he enjoyed the protection that his proximity to the president provided. Now that he has turned on his political benefactor, it appears that there is nobody left to support him. It is not likely that Bannon will be able to recover from this mistake.
A self-confessed news and political junkie, Jeff’s writing has been featured in Small Business Trends, Business2Community, and The Huffington Post. Born in Southern California and having experienced the 1992 L.A. Riots up close and personal, Jeff's insights are informed by his experiences as a black man and a conservative.