Trump came up with a new nickname for his former chief strategist. In the wake of Steve Bannon’s explosive and provocative comments in Michael Wolff’s new White House tell-all, Trump took to Twitter to label the Breitbart chief “Sloppy Steve.”
Enthusiasm for Stephen K. Bannon’s plans for a fiery Republican revolution had already been fading among some of the donors and candidates he was relying on to upend the party’s establishment.
But Mr. Bannon’s provocative remarks about President Trump and his family, reported in a new book now scheduled to be released this week, and Mr. Trump’s angry response, further alienated some of Mr. Bannon’s most important backers — including the family of the hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer — leaving Mr. Bannon confronting the possibility of a dire fate for a publicity-hungry provocateur: political irrelevance.
The Mercers were blunt on Thursday in cutting the cord, reiterating support for Mr. Trump while disavowing Mr. Bannon’s remarks and disowning his political endeavors. “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,” Rebekah Mercer, Mr. Mercer’s daughter, said in a statement. “I have a minority interest in Breitbart News and I remain committed in my support for them.”
The reference to Breitbart seemed an implicit threat. Mr. Bannon is chairman of Breitbart, and many staff members there believe there is a strong chance he might lose the job, though he was dismissive of that possibility on the site’s daily editorial conference call on Thursday night, according to one person with knowledge of the call.
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