Mercer issues rare public rebuke of former ally Bannon

FILE PHOTO:  U.S. President Donald Trump talks to chief strategist Steve Bannon during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 22, 2017.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to chief strategist Steve Bannon during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 22, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Steve Bannon’s main financial backer is formally cutting ties with the former Trump adviser.

In a new statement Thursday, billionaire conservative donor Rebekah Mercer said that she has not spoken to Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, in many months and that she continues to support President Trump.

“I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected,” Mercer 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.”

Mercer almost never speaks publicly and her statement about her longtime ally represented an extraordinary rebuke. It comes in the wake of new book by journalist Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which includes incendiary comments by Bannon about the president he helped elect and about Trump’s family.

Mercer is arguably the most prominent former Bannon associate to disavow him in the wake of the book’s publication. She said that she remains committed in her support for Breitbart News, where she holds a minority stake and where Bannon serves as chairman.

People familiar with the conservative news website said discussions have begun at the organization about potentially removing him from the perch that propelled him to them forefront of national conservative politics.

A Bannon spokesperson declined to comment.

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