Steve Bannon found himself abandoned last week — in a span of fewer than 30 hours — by two key forces that had fueled his rise and made his kingmaker image. Maybe Rebekah Mercer will come next?
President Donald Trump broke ties with Bannon on Wednesday, saying the former White House chief strategist had “lost his mind” following the release of book excerpts that showed Bannon called a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian contacts “treasonous.”
Megadonor Rebekah Mercer then rejected him the next day and sided with Trump, dealing a blow perhaps even more damaging than the president’s.
The daughter of Robert Mercer, the Long Island billionaire who in 2016 put more than $22 million toward mostly conservative causes, in a rare public statement said she shut off the spigot to Bannon.
“That could be the final nail in his coffin,” said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who for months has criticized Bannon as detrimental to the GOP. “And once that coffin’s closed, it shouldn’t be opened.”
Bannon and the Mercer family of Head of the Harbor had aligned during the 2016 campaign to run and finance a populist operation that boosted Trump to victory. They also jointly led a handful of influential operations, including right wing Breitbart News and data company Cambridge Analytica.
“Losing your primary financial backer is a catastrophic and devastating loss — particularly in politics, where money gives you power,” former Breitbart spokesman Kurt Bardella said of the Mercers. “He’s a man alone on an island.”
Interviews with nationalist activist Bannon are the backbone of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff, who portrays the president as unfit to lead and unwilling to learn. Trump, in the book, is said to be like a “child” and “semiliterate” by people who work for the president.
The White House denounced the book as full of fabrications.
Trump has been calling Bannon “Sloppy Steve.”
Bannon has not denied the many unflattering descriptions he makes about Trump and his children. But he called the president a “great man” Wednesday on a Sirius XM show put on by Breitbart, where he is executive chairman.