WASHINGTON — A Breitbart News reporter is leaving the site following Donald Trump’s victory in the election, he confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
In Facebook posts earlier this evening, Patrick Howley, a former Daily Caller writer who had been with Breitbart since the summer of 2015, announced that he was leaving the site.
“My time with Breitbart News has come to an end,” Howley wrote. “I am proud of the work that I was part of and the people with whom I worked. My patriotism, however, continues apace.” In a follow-up post, Howley wrote that he was “unemployed of [his] own volition.”
Howley confirmed his departure to BuzzFeed News, saying in an email, “I just kind of looked around at a room full of TV screens and there was a tremendous moment of dramatic irony and I just sort of realized the fulfillment of all of my political and sociocultural fantasies all at the same time. It was a tremendous moment. And so I wished Breitbart well, they’re amazing people, and I told them I resign, and they wished me well. It was a beautiful experience. I just have to write whatever I want now, or else this all meant nothing.”
Asked to clarify what he meant, Howley said that the site had become more “controlled” recently.
“Bannon used to let me write whatever I want, but it’s much more controlled now,” Howley said. “They’re doing more of a newswire type thing. I don’t want to do that. I’ve helped to achieve something over the last year and a half. It’s hard to say exactly what has been achieved, where it is headed, or how long it will last. But it’s all pretty interesting food for thought. But yeah, you can’t do Breitbart forever. There’s only so much you can do.
“It only became more controlled recently, but not in a political sense. They’re doing more of a breaking-news livewire kind of thing, and that’s just not my skill set. It’s just a different, project, I guess. Smart people. I wish them well,” Howley said. Howley described Bannon as “Charlemagne” and a “classy barbarian.”
Howley was suspended for a time by Breitbart earlier this year after implying that his colleague Michelle Fields was lying about having been grabbed by then–Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Fields left Breitbart in protest shortly after the site took Trump’s side over hers in the ensuing controversy.
Breitbart has been adamant in its Trump boosterism and became a semiofficial Trump organ after the appointment of Chairman Steve Bannon as Trump campaign chief executive over the summer. Now that Bannon has been appointed Trump’s chief strategist in the White House, Breitbart’s influence seems bound to grow even further.
Under Bannon, Breitbart promoted the brand of hard-edged populist nationalism that propelled Trump’s bid to the White House and which is spreading all over Europe and the US. The site, which already has a London bureau, plans to expand elsewhere in Europe in the coming months.
Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.