Bannon Loses Financial Backer Over Comments in Trump Tell-All

WASHINGTON (CN) – The hedge fund billionaire Mercer family cut ties with Steve Bannon for derogatory comments attributed to him in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a tell-all by Michael Wolff that has roiled much of Washington this week.

In the book, which quickly shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list on Friday, Wolff quotes Bannon saying a number of highly critical things about the president and other members of the first family, calling Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting last summer with a Russian attorney both “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

Trump Jr. has said he attended the meeting because he was led to believe the Russian had damaging information on his father’s Democratic opponent, Hilary Clinton.

After excerpts from the book began circulating Wednesday, the White House took the extraordinary step of releasing a lengthy statement in which the president said Bannon “has nothing to do with me or my Presidency.”

“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said.

The president’s tirade continued Thursday night, when he tweeted the book is full of “lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist.”

He also came up with a new nickname for Bannon: “Sloppy Steve.”

A parade of administration officials and allies have also come forward to discredit both the book and Bannon, who is being described as a disgruntled has-been.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders went so far as to suggest that Bannon ought to be booted from Breitbart, the populist website he helps run.

“I certainly think that it’s something they should look at and consider,” she said.

On Friday, Bannon’s very public break with Trump cost the Breitbart News chairman the support of one of his primary financial backers.

Conservative donor Rebekah Mercer said in a rare statement that she and her family have not communicated with Bannon “in many months” and “have provided no financial support to his political agenda, nor do we support his recent actions and statements.”

She also said she supports President Donald Trump and the platform upon which he ran.

According to published reports, Mercer spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday and the two discussed Wolff’s claims of rampant chaos and unrest inside the White House.

The Mercers have long extended financial support to Bannon’s many projects, including Breitbart. Their investment also helped Bannon distribute his 2015 book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

Trump commended the Mercers on Friday, writing on Twitter: “The Mercer Family recently dumped the leaker known as Sloppy Steve Bannon. Smart!”

The Mercer family has reportedly given $41.5 million to  Republican political candidates, super PACs and other organizations in the past decade.

According to the Federal Election Commission, they’ve donated $2 million to a Trump-supporting super PAC, Make America Number 1.

Rebekah Mercer herself poured nearly $500,000 into the Trump Victory fundraising committee.

The White House declined to comment Friday. A representative for Steve Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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