Looks like the recent Wolff book is creating a little more ‘Fire and Fury’ as teh Mercers seem to be backing investor Peter Thiel for the next conservative news outlet. Certainly not a surprise is it, especially after the recent news of Steve Bannon blasting Trump.
Billionaire investor Peter Thiel is reportedly considering launching a conservative news outlet backed by the powerful Mercer family, along with a “cast of Fox News celebrities,” according to Michael Wolff book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” and a report from BuzzFeed news.
According to Wolff, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and Peter Thiel were set to discuss the idea of a conservative news outlet last May – however Ailes slipped and fell two days before the meeting, hitting his head and dying before the discussion could occur.
Word of Thiel’s potential new venture with the Mercers is of particular interest in light of revelations about “backstabbing” Steve Bannon – executive chairman of Breitbart News, with whom the billionaire family has now officially split following explosive comments made about the Trump family in Wolff’s new book.
On Thursday, the Mercers and other Breitbart News Network LLC board members were reportedly debating whether to oust Mr. Bannon as chairman, while the news organization has been cast into disarray.
Staffers at Breitbart, which Mr. Bannon has called his “killing machine,” described a “chaotic” day at the company, with writers—many personally recruited by Mr. Bannon—wondering whether he would last the day. –Wall Street Journal
Asked Thursday whether Breitbart should oust Mr. Bannon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders replied “I certainly think that it’s something they should look at and consider.”
The Mercers had been longtime supporters of Breitbart and Steve Bannon – investing a reported $10 million in the news outlet – while Robert Mercer was perhaps the most influential backer of Donald Trump’s run for the White House. The billionaire, who has been contributing to conservative PACs since at least 1998, recently sold his stake in Breitbart News to his daughters after stepping down from Renaissance Technologies, where he was co-chief executive officer.
Robert Mercer’s daughter Rebekah reportedly pushed Trump to bring Bannon on board, according to Newsweek.
However, it now appears that Rebekah has changed her tune and according to Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs “Steve Bannon’s main financial backer, conservative donor Rebekah Mercer, spoke with Trump today, I’m told,” adding “She then issued a statement distancing herself from Bannon. A “one-two gut punch” for Bannon as one WH official told me.”
However, she also adds that there was no sign that the White House has succeeded in pushing Bannon out of his leadership of the conservative Breitbart News website” and that insiders said he was doing business as usual there on Thursday and showed no signs of leaving the organization.
So….any thoughts or bets on how long Steve Bannon will remain at Breitbart?
As for Peter Thiel….
It’s not exactly clear how serious Thiel is about the cable news effort, but BuzzFeed quotes sources saying Thiel plans to use some of his own money and funds from the conservative Mercer family. The Mercers have used their enormous hedge fund fortune to influence politic campaigns and causes and to bankroll Breitbart and groom its rising stars, including Milo Yiannopoulos.
Still, it’s an interesting move for Thiel. The man is a devout Trump supporter and campaign contributor who has used his Facebook and PayPal wealth to enact vengeance against a media organization, Gawker, that he feels wronged him years ago. That Thiel, still an a well-known Silicon Valley VC, would then want to start his own media company — and one that would go head-to-head against the formidable Fox empire in the middle of a beleaguered Republican presidential term — feels like an outlandish career move.
As for Robert Mercer… in a letter to his colleagues explaining his decision to sell his stake in Breitbart to his daughters he stated,
“I have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him. However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon’s.”
Looks like things may get interesting for Bannon and for that matter, Conservatives who are looking for a new outlet.
Resources: Zero Hedge, The Verge, Raw Story