Jan 9, 2018

Behind the scenes of Bannon's exit

Illustration: Sam Jayne / Axios

Steve Bannon is stepping 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 Mercer’s 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

Al Sharpton says Floyd family will lead march on Washington in August

The family of George Floyd is teaming up with Rev. Al Sharpton to hold a march on Washington on Aug. 28 — the 57th anniversary of the civil rights movement's March on Washington — to call for a federal policing equality act, Sharpton announced during a eulogy at Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis Thursday.

Why it matters: The news comes amid growing momentum for calls to address systemic racism in policing and other facets of society, after more than a week of protests and social unrest following the killing of Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

2 hours ago - Health

Medical journal retracts study that fueled hydroxychloroquine concerns

Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty Images

The Lancet medical journal retracted a study on Thursday that found that coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a higher mortality rate and increased heart problem than those who did nothing, stating that the authors were "unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis."

Why it matters: The results of the study, which claimed to have analyzed data from nearly 96,000 patients on six continents, led several governments to ban the use of the anti-malarial drug for coronavirus patients due to safety concerns.

George Floyd updates

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

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: A judge Thursday set bail at $750,000 for each of three ex-officers, AP reports.