By Sarah Goodman
Rabat – Stephen K. Bannon, the former top aide to US President Donald Trump, stepped down from his position as chairman of right-wing news outlet Breitbart News on Tuesday.
Although Bannon left the White House in August, the recent release of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, a scathing account of the current administration, revealed several inflammatory defamatory quotes from Bannon directed at Trump and Trump’s immediate family members.
Of his former boss’ sanity, Bannon reportedly said “He’s not going to make it… he’s lost his stuff” while describing Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, as “dumb as a brick.” He also said of Donald “Don” Junior, “They’re going to crack [him] like an egg on national TV” with regard to an ongoing investigation into potential coordination by the Trump team and the Russians to besmirch Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and influence the election’s outcome.
It was during this very campaign that Bannon made a national name for himself, although he had been the chairman of Breitbart News since 2012. However, his meteoric rise from fringe conservative commentator to senior advisor to the US President has proven to mirror the speed of his fall from the Republican party’s good graces.
In the Alabama senate race last December, Bannon backed conservative candidate Roy Moore, who ultimately lost to his liberal rival, Doug Jones. This is the first time a Democrat has won a senate seat in the deeply conservative state of Alabama in 25 years.
A humiliating defeat for the Republican Party, the upset in Alabama’s election was seen to signal the waning influence of Bannon’s particular brand of populism, economic nationalism, and anti-immigrant rhetoric, which had resonated widely with the American public one year earlier during the presidential race.
However, before the loss in Alabama and his indelible contributions to Fire and Fury, a rift was already growing between Bannon and his major allies within the Republican establishment such as hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. Mercer’s daughter, Rebekah, is a minority stakeholder in Breitbart News and recently 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.”
Breitbart chief executive Larry Solov, in a statement online, promised followers a “smooth and orderly transition,” although it remains to be seen what a post-Bannon Breitbart will sound like.
On Tuesday, Trump met with a bipartisan team in the nation’s capital to discuss comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty for undocumented immigrants, of which Bannon was an outspoken critic. However, with Bannon now blacklisted, his critics will say that there is now one fewer obstacle between America’s immigrants and reform.