Steve Bannon stepping down from Breitbart

Will a sidelined Bannon strengthen or weaken the mainstreamed alt-right?

Donald Trump's former White House strategist Steve Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart News, the conservative news outlet announced Tuesday, amid controversy over his incendiary comments about the president quoted in a new book. In a statement, Trump said Bannon has nothing to do with his presidency and has "lost his mind".

Losing his Breitbart post threatens Bannon's dream of leading a new political movement that challenges the Republican establishment and supports his "America First" agenda of tougher trade deals and immigration laws.

Now, the man who took considerable credit for President Trump's shocking win in 2016 finds himself cast out - most importantly, from the good graces of Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire GOP donors who fund Breitbart and a variety of other Bannon-linked ventures. From there, he followed Trump to the White House, serving as chief strategist for much of 2017 before being ousted and returning to Breitbart.

He was responding to a question on the statement by Bannon a day earlier in which he had apologised for his critical remarks in the book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff.

"We will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish", Solov said.

"Bannon died of his own sword", said Roger Stone, a long-time Trump friend. Without the Mercers' support, and that of the rest of the Breitbart board, including CEO Larry Solov and Susie Breitbart - wife of the site's deceased founder, Andrew Breitbart - Bannon was forced to step down. "And those statements still stand", he said.

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