- Reuters: Carlos Barria
- Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon could see his income drop 40% as a result of his main financial backer abandoning him.
- The Mercer family, which has long funded Breitbart News and helped finance the Trump campaign, have announced they will no longer support Bannon’s future endeavors.
- Quotes attributed to Bannon in an revealing new book on the Trump administration sparked fierce rebukes from Trump in the last week, ultimately prompting the Mercers to choose Trump over Bannon.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s finances could take a 40% hit after his feud with President Donald Trump.
Bannon’s main financial backer, heiress and Republican donor Rebekah Mercer, has reportedly said she will no longer support him financially after Bannon claimed that he would rely on the Mercer family’s money if he ever ran for president.
The move was also likely motivated by the combative statements Bannon made about Trump in author Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” Mercer, together with her father and hedge fund manager Robert Mercer, were major donors to Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Bannon previously reported $1.4 million dollars 2016 earnings on his disclosure forms before taking a job at the White House, The Wall Street Journal reported last March. Nearly 40% came from projects funded by the Mercer family. These included earnings from Breitbart News, the digital publication from which Bannon stepped down on Tuesday, the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica, the production company Glittering Steel, and the Government Accountability Institute that Bannon co-founded.
Cambridge Analytica is a company that played a role in the Trump campaign’s data operations in 2016, and is now under scrutiny by House investigators for its alleged role in helping Russia spread misinformation during the campaign. The Mercers became the firm’s main donors in 2013.
Robert Mercer, who recently stepped down as co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, had been a major stakeholder in Breitbart News, and together with his daughter groomed Trump into the 2016 candidate he became.
A source close to Breitbart’s ownership told The Washington Post that the Mercers had no deeply held allegiance to Bannon.
“The core constituency for Breitbart is what you would call the Trump Deplorables,” one source told The Post.
“That’s the audience. And if they’re asked to choose between Steve and Trump, they’re going to choose Trump. That’s clear.”