Milo Yiannopoulos, a leader of the “alt-right” white nationalist movement, resigned his position as an editor at Breitbart News on Tuesday. Over the weekend, video of Yiannopoulos appearing to condone pedophilia resurfaced.
“I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues’ important job, which is why today I am resigning from Breitbart effective immediately,” Yiannopoulos said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “This decision is mine alone.”
He called the furor over his comments “a cynical media witch hunt from people who don’t care about children.”
“They care about destroying me and my career, and by extension my allies,” Yiannopoulos said.
He said he did not speak to top White House strategist Steve Bannon, the Breitbart chair who took a leave of absence to run Trump’s campaign, about his resignation.
“For those statements I did make where I misspoke, I am here today to apologize,” he said.
Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from Breitbart News. His statement: pic.twitter.com/NzCZ7n2H4J
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 21, 2017
In videos posted on Sunday by The Reagan Battalion, Yiannopoulos criticized the “arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent” and defended “relationships between younger boys and older men” in the “homosexual world.”
He also suggested that relationships between 13-year-olds and adults can happen “perfectly consensually.”
🚨 Breaking: We obtained the #CPAC2017 Milo Yiannopoulos introductory video.
This is a must watch!
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) February 19, 2017
In an interview Tuesday morning on Breitbart’s radio show, editor-in-chief Alex Marlow said Yiannopoulos’ comments were “not defensible.”
Marlow also suggested that the timing of the video’s resurfacing looks like “a coordinated hit” by “the forces of the left and some of the Republican establishment.”
“The problem is, is that the video is a real video with horrible things said on it,” he said. “The video does speak for itself, and it says something very terrible.”
Publisher Simon and Schuster pulled its deal on Monday to publish Yiannopoulos’ book “Dangerous” amid furor over his past remarks.
— (((Adam Rothberg))) (@AdamRothberg) February 20, 2017
The American Conservative Union disinvited Yiannopoulos earlier Monday from speaking at CPAC over his comments “condoning pedophilia.”
“We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient,” ACU chair Matt Schlapp wrote in a statement. “It is up to him to answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments.”
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 20, 2017
Yiannopoulos, a lifetime Twitter exile, claimed in a Facebook post on Sunday that the videos were “selectively edited” as part of “a co-ordinated effort” to discredit him.
After ACU rescinded his invitation, Yiannopoulos posted a second statement on Monday saying that he was “partly to blame” for the ensuing uproar.
“My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous,” he wrote on Facebook. “But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, ‘advocacy.’ I deeply regret that.”