On Thursday afternoon, as debate reportedly raged inside the Breitbart News board regarding the fate of recent full-body fourth-degree burn victim Steve Bannon, the Mercers — the daughter of Robert Mercer and scion of the Mercer family, funders of Breitbart News and minority shareholders in it, as well as the deepest pockets behind Bannon himself for the last several years — hit Bannon with a brick. Rebekah Mercer, the member of the Mercer family closest to Bannon during his precipitous rise, issued this statement:
I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected. My family and I have not communicated with Steve Bannon in many months and have provided no financial support to his political agenda, nor do we support his recent actions and statements.
That statement follows her father’s statements disassociating from Bannon in early November; Robert Mercer, the billionaire conservative donor, said that he would divest from Bannon and Bannon’s alt-right-promoting provocateur deputy, Milo Yiannopoulos. “I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him," Mercer said at the time. "However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon's…. actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate. I was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him.”
This is an extraordinary turn of events for Bannon, who spent the last several years waving around the Mercers’ wallet in an attempt to arrogate political power to himself. He used the money to make bad documentaries and leak self-aggrandizing stories about himself to The New York Times.
The Mercers have now caught onto Bannon’s game, and they’re not playing anymore. Good for them.