The Mercers Wash Their Hands of Milo - 2017-11-02
In a rare acknowledgement of the controversies caused by his family's political advocacy, billionaire Republican donor Robert Mercer is stepping down from his hedge fund and selling his stake in Breitbart News to his daughters.
The move was announced in a letter Mercer reportedly sent to employees of his investment fund, Renaissance Technologies. In the letter, Mercer disavowed Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur and former Breitbart tech editor whose close ties to white-nationalist figures were revealed in a tranche of emails leaked to BuzzFeed News. Despite the letter, sources familiar with Mercer's situation tell me this doesn't mean the family is retreating from politics.
"I supported Milo Yiannopoulos in the hope and expectation that his expression of views contrary to the social mainstream and his spotlighting of the hypocrisy of those who would close down free speech in the name of political correctness would promote the type of open debate and freedom of thought that is being throttled on many American college campuses today," Mercer wrote. "But in my opinion, actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate. I was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him."