Billionaire Robert Mercer speaks on the phone during the 12th International Conference on Climate Change hosted by The Heartland Institute on March 23, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Billionaire Robert Mercer speaks on the phone during the 12th International Conference on Climate Change hosted by The Heartland Institute on March 23, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
By Diana Crandall / November 3, 2017 8:53 am

Robert Mercer, co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, is stepping down from his position at the investment firm after a BuzzFeed News exposé reported his funding connections to Breitbart News, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis. In a memo to his colleagues, Mercer wrote that he was “mistaken” to have supported alt-right darling Milo Yiannopoulos, and would be selling his stake in Breitbart to his daughters.

“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,” part of the memo reads.

“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.”

Mercer went on to say that politically, he does not “march in lockstep with Steve Bannon,” although he did acknowledge he has “great respect” for him and  discusses politics with him “from time to time.” Though Mercer will be stepping down as co-leader of the company and resigning from its board of directors, according to his memo, he will remain with the company, at age 71, as part of its technical staff.