(CN) – Steve Bannon, unable to quell the controversy over critical remarks attributed to him in a new best-seller about the Trump administration, is stepping down from his post as executive chairman of Breitbart News, the company announced Tuesday.
In a statement, Breitbart CEO Larry Solov said, “Steve is a valued part of our legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish.”
Bannon added that he was “proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform.”
Bannon infuriated President Trump by making derogatory comments about Trump family members in Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
In the book, Bannon is quoted as saying that Donald Trump Jr. had been “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign and that Ivanka Trump was “dumb as a brick.”
After excerpts of the book were released last week, Trump unloaded on his chief strategist, saying that Bannon had “nothing to do with me or my presidency” and had “lost his mind” after he was shown the door last year.
Bannon’s departure from Breitbart was reportedly forced by his onetime financial patron, Rebekah Mercer, who last week disavowed the publisher and threw her support behind the president.
Bannon sought to backpeddle on Sunday, issuing a statement in which he said his reference to “treason” had been aimed not at Donald Trump Jr., but at then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also attended the Trump Tower meeting.
Bannon acknowledged Manafort is “a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate,” but said in light of that experience he “should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends.”
The White House dismissed that apology.