Breitbart.com’s bid for the press corps big leagues has become ensnared by the shifting series of stories told about how -- and when -- the site’s leader officially left to work for President Donald Trump.
White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon served as executive chairman of Breitbart.com “until resignation on August 16,” the day before he joined Trump’s presidential campaign, according to his financial disclosure forms.
But that claim contradicts a Breitbart press release dated August 17, which stated that Bannon was taking “a temporary leave of absence from Breitbart and will resume work with Breitbart the evening of November 8, 2016.”
And last month, as many have noted, Breitbart CEO Larry Solov sent a letter to the credentialing committee for Capitol Hill reporters claiming that Bannon had resigned “on or about” November 13 -- the date Bannon’s White House role was announced.
Bannon’s date of resignation and possible ongoing ties to the website are key issues in the website’s bid for permanent congressional press credentials, a precursor to gaining access to the White House Correspondents’ Association and joining the White House press pool. The members of the Standing Committee of the Senate Press Gallery have been skeptical of Solov’s February claim that Bannon had resigned by phone and of the letter he produced last month. The committee continues to deny the website’s bid for credentials and is requesting more information from Breitbart by April 14.
Bannon’s financial disclosures show that the standing committee was right not to take Solov’s word; either Bannon lied on his forms, or Solov lied to the committee.
Moreover, for roughly a month after even November 13 -- the date Solov claims Bannon resigned -- Breitbart staffers continued to identify Bannon as “on leave” from the website. Joel Pollak, the website’s senior editor-at-large, regularly referred to him using that language in articles defending Bannon from criticism -- meaning that if Bannon had left the website, that information was unknown even at the highest levels of the outlet’s staff. Breitbart did not consistently identify Bannon as a former employee until mid-December -- four months after Bannon claims in his disclosures that he resigned.
From a November 17 article:
(Bannon remains on a leave of absence from Breitbart after joining the Trump campaign as CEO in August.)
Bannon has been on leave as Executive Chairman of Breitbart News since being appointed CEO of the Trump campaign in August.
In two separate interviews conducted since Bannon — on leave from Breitbart — was appointed Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to President-elect Donald J. Trump, Bannon has made his views explicit.
Bannon is on leave as Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, and was recently appointed by President-elect Donald J. Trump as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.
Though Breitbart’s former Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon is on a leave of absence to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist, [Politico’s Nahal] Toosi writes that “foreign and domestic” observers “will likely scour Breitbart every day for clues about what the administration will do.”
Bannon is currently on leave from Breitbart News.
(Bannon is currently on leave as Executive Chairman of Breitbart News.)
(Bannon has been on leave from Breitbart since being appointed CEO of the Trump presidential campaign in August.)
He also repeated false charges against Stephen K. Bannon, the Executive Chair of Breitbart News (on leave) who was appointed CEO of the Trump campaign in August and has been named incoming White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.
So when Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon (on leave as Breitbart News Executive Chairman) gives his first interview to the Hollywood Reporter and says, “The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan,” there is a method to the madness.