Conservative megadonor Rebekah Mercer on Thursday said her family does not support former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s “recent actions and statements,” a rare but blunt rebuke of her former associate.
“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 said in a statement to the Washington Post.
Mercer, who helped finance and advise President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, said she supports “President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected.”
Mercer and her father Robert Mercer are part owners of Breitbart News, the conservative news organization where Bannon served as chairman before joining Trump’s campaign and where he returned to his position after leaving the White House.
Bannon allegedly accused Donald Trump Jr., the President’s eldest son, of being “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” the Guardian reported on Wednesday, citing journalist Michael Wolff’s upcoming book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed source familiar with conversations between members of Breitbart’s board, that the Mercers and other members were discussing whether to give Bannon the boot after Wolff’s reporting on his alleged remarks.
The Washington Post also reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with Breitbart News, that discussions have begun there about the possibility of removing Bannon from the role.
Mercer told the Washington Post that she is still committed to supporting the right-wing news organization, though it was not clear from the report whether that support extended to Bannon.
In another report published Thursday, the Washington Post cited an unnamed source familiar with Bannon’s exchanges who said Bannon had alienated Mercer by telling other conservative donors that he was certain she would support him if he decided to run for president.
The White House on Thursday appeared to encourage Breitbart News to consider the possibility of ousting its chairman.
“I certainly think that it’s something they should look at and consider,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at her daily briefing.