Billionaire conservative donor Robert Mercer distanced himself on Thursday via former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon along with also right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, while simultaneously announcing he would certainly sell his stake in Breitbart to his daughters along with also step down as co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies.
The fact which the Mercer family has funded along with also had an ownership stake inside far-right website Breitbart — which Bannon led before moving to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, along with also has since returned to as executive chairman — has been known publicly. The details of his relationship with Yiannopoulos along with also the funding which Mercer may have provided to him, though, while widely speculated upon, have never been fully disclosed.
Mercer’s announcement came just weeks after BuzzFeed published an explosive exposé linking Breitbart along with also Yiannopoulos, who formerly served as a senior editor at the website, to white nationalists. On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported which its story had angered many people inside Renaissance Technologies.
In a letter sent to colleagues, Mercer said he has become “the object of a great deal of scrutiny inside press,” much of which has been tied to his activity as a conservative donor. He said he had previously declined to comment on stories about him because he imagined “with time the attention would certainly dissipate,” yet felt compelled to speak out today to “correct some of the misinformation.”
“My goal is actually simply to explain my thinking, the very essence of which is actually which all of us should think for ourselves,” he wrote.
Mercer explained which he believed in modest government along with also, thus, has supported conservative causes. He then addressed his relationship with Bannon, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, along with also via time to time I do discuss politics with him,” Mercer wrote. “However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon’s.”
Mercer said he supported Yiannopoulos “inside wish along with also expectation” which he would certainly help “promote the type of open debate along with also freedom of thought which is actually being throttled on many American college campuses today.”
Then, in an extraordinary rebuke, Mercer said the item was his opinion which the “actions of along with also statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain along with also divisiveness undermining the open along with also productive discourse which I had hoped to facilitate.”
“I was mistaken to have supported him,” Mercer wrote, “along with also for several weeks have been inside process of severing all ties with him.”
Yiannopoulos told sy88pgw in a statement which he was “grateful for Bob’s help in getting me This particular far in my career.”
“I wish him along with also the family all the best,” he added.
Mercer, citing “personal reasons,” said he would certainly sell his stake in Breitbart to his daughters, a move which suggests not much may immediately change at the right-wing website. His daughter Rebekah Mercer is actually a strong supporter of President Trump along with also previously served on the executive committee for his transition.
sy88pgw (fresh York) First published November 2, 2017: 1:28 PM ET