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Bannon steps down from Breitbart News after drawing fire from Trump

WASHINGTON Mr Steve Bannon has stepped down as executive chairman of Breitbart News, the right-wing news website said on Tuesday, after the former White House chief strategist drew fire from President Donald Trump for harshly criticising his oldest son.

Mr Bannon was quoted in Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House as calling Donald Trump Jr "treasonous" and "unpatriotic" for meeting a Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The comments drew a furious response from the President, who said Mr Bannon "had lost his mind".

Their public fight ended an alliance that began when Mr Bannon joined the Trump campaign and helped the political novice defeat Mrs Clinton in the 2016 election.

He was fired by Mr Trump in August as the latter tried to bring order to feuding factions in the White House, but the two continued to communicate and Mr Bannon had remained an ally.

After publication of the book last week, major Republican Party donor Rebekah Mercer, who owns a stake in Breitbart, issued a statement distancing herself from Bannon, saying she did not support his "recent actions and statements".

Losing his Breitbart post threatens Mr Bannon's dream of leading a new political movement that challenges the Republican establishment and supports his agenda of tougher trade deals and immigration laws.

He also lost his talk show on SiriusXM radio.

Sirius said in a statement that its programming agreement was with Breitbart, not with Mr Bannon.

To try to repair the damage from the book, Mr Bannon said his "treasonous" comment was directed at a former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who also attended the meeting at Trump Tower.

The author of the book, Michael Wolff, disputed Mr Bannon's account.

Said a long-time Trump ally, political consultant Roger Stone: "Bannon died of his own sword." - REUTERS

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