Jan 9, 2018

Steve Bannon out at Breitbart

Illustration: Sam Jayne / Axios

Steve Bannon has stepped down as executive chairman of Breitbart News. SiriusXM has now also cancelled his radio show, as "the agreement is with Breitbart."

The big picture: Trump got his scalp. He forced everyone inside and close to the White House to make a binary choice: “it’s me or Steve.” For everyone, including some of Bannon’s close allies, it was an easy choice. Almost everyone abandoned Bannon.

Between the lines:

  • This was the Mercers forcing his hand. It wasn’t just Bannon’s quotes to Wolff but how he mishandled the fallout. He took five days to issue a weak apology, which fell flat.
  • Right up until today Steve was telling associates everything was going to be fine (but he always does that when he’s under the gun.) But his associates knew this was coming. The Mercers had turned against him months ago. 
  • Per source close to the White House: “God, I can’t believe the whole movement just collapsed on this guy. He’s done.”
  • Per a former WH ally of Bannon’s: “I’ve gone from being sympathetic to Steve to believing he’s a genuinely bad guy, totally duplicitous. It’s a shame. He has a lot of talent. But his self-destructive streak is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

Go deeper:

From Breitbart's statement:

  • Bannon said, “I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform.”
  • According to Breitbart CEO Larry Solov, “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.”

Go deeper

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.

Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Thursday it will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer. It's also rolling out a new set of labels to provide users with transparency around ads and posts from state-controlled outlets. Outlets that feel wrongly labeled can appeal the process.

Why it matters: Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, says the company hasn't seen many examples yet of foreign governments using advertising to promote manipulative content to U.S. users, but that the platform is taking this action out of an abundance of caution ahead of the 2020 election.