Robert Mercer, a billionaire supporter of President Donald Trump, is stepping down as co-CEO of the quant hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, according to a memorandum to employees on Thursday. Mercer, 71, said he will leave the role on Jan. 1 but stay at the firm in a research role. He is also selling his personal stake in the right-wing news outlet Breitbart News to his daughters.
Here is Mercer’s resignation letter:
A society founded on the basis of the individual freedom that flourishes under a limited federal government has no place for discrimination. Of the many mischaracterizations made of me by the press, the most repugnant to me have been the intimations that I am a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group. Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or anything of that sort is abhorrent to me. But more than that, it is ignorant.
The press has also intimated that my politics marches in lockstep with Steve Bannon’s. 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.
Without individuals thinking for themselves, society as a whole will struggle to distinguish the signal of truth from the correlated noise of conformity. 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.
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.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 2, 2017
The IRS has been demanding $7 billion in back taxes from Bob Mercer’s firm https://t.co/7i0Ak3y4Mh
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) November 2, 2017
— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) November 2, 2017
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 2, 2017
The Mercer for President 2020 campaign started today
Robert Mercer to Step Down as Head of Renaissance Technologies https://t.co/hNPJUMKCSc
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) November 2, 2017
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) November 2, 2017
Robert Mercer washes his hands. pic.twitter.com/P12WBfCbWn
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) November 2, 2017
So Robert Mercer finally realize supporting racists like Bannon and Milo wasn’t a good idea..
Or maybe because Mueller is coming..
— RespectMyGame 💅🏽 (@battletested5) November 2, 2017
Robert Mercer will step down from his company and sell in Breitbart to his daughters after BuzzFeed exposed his ties to white supremacists. https://t.co/fJYeDXECZ5
— Facts Do Matter (@WilDonnelly) November 2, 2017