The Reckoning: Breitbart Chooses Trump Over Bannon

Callum Borchers covers politics and media for The Washington Post

Once United States President Donald Trump's campaign manager and chief strategist at the White House, he's now been pushed out of Breitbart, the news site of choice for Mr Trump's supporters.

As of Tuesday, it appears Bannon has given up the conn as Executive Chairman of Breitbart rather than scuttle the ship in his ongoing battle with the White House.

Author Michael Wolff wrote that Bannon called a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer "treasonous" and called daughter Ivanka Trump "dumb as a brick". The reference angered the president, who last week lashed out at Bannon, saying he "lost his mind".

Loss of his media perch jeopardizes Bannon's campaign to remake the Republican Party by fielding Trump-allied candidates to challenge incumbent lawmakers. "They didn't have any lawyers", Bannon apparently said at the time.

Breitbart News confirmed his departure as chairman on Tuesday.

Scaramucci, who served for less than two weeks in the White House last summer, said Bannon is "not a team player" during an interview on CNN with reporter Chris Cuomo.

The former Breitbart editor has since apologised for the comments and refused to respond to Trump's deeply insulting outbursts on Twitter.

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Bannon had described a meeting in NY with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential election campaign as "treasonous". When he was sacked, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind, " the president said.

"I can understand fully how Steve Bannon feels", Trump said in October.

Mr Bannon told Axios in a statement that Mr Wolff misquoted him: "My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort".

Perhaps even more importantly to Bannon - who had expressed his own presidential hopes for 2020, and had reportedly been trying to court conservative backers - the comments upset some whom he might have hoped to get money from.

"'We were running a kind of happy cult when Andrew was in charge, and when Andrew died everyone had an incentive to spin what they thought he was up to", said one former employee.

As late as this weekend, Bannon continued to tell people that he planned to stay in charge at Breitbart and that he would keep his radio show. Mercer was also behind Bannon's ouster from Breitbart, according to the New York Times.

Nevertheless, Breitbart soared under Bannon, reaching 37 million unique readers a month before Trump upset Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 election.

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