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November 8, 2017

Just last week, Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen Bannon predicted that Republican Ed Gillespie would win the Virginia gubernatorial race. But on Wednesday morning — just hours after Gillespie's 9-point defeat at the hands of Democrat Ralph Northam — Breitbart's front page referred to Gillespie as a "Republican swamp thing":

President Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that Gillespie lost because he "did not embrace me or what I stand for."

In the weeks leading up to the election, Breitbart published several articles suggesting that Gillespie had surged in polls because of his focus on illegal immigration and his support for populist issues. An article published Oct. 26 called Gillespie a "culture warrior"; another post published Sunday was more explicit in its praise of Gillespie for "pushing back against the Far Left." Breitbart's senior legal editor, Ken Klukowski, went so far as to predict that "a Gillespie victory would be a vindication of the principles President Trump ran on."

But hours before the polls even closed in Virginia, Breitbart began to change its tone — perhaps in preparation for a Northam victory. An article providing live updates on the Virginia gubernatorial race referred to Gillespie as an "establishment Republican tactician" and called his campaign a "band of virtue-signalling Bush loyalists."

Two hours after Northam claimed victory, Breitbart posted an excerpt of a Daily Beast report that claimed that Bannon's offer to campaign on Gillespie's behalf was rejected by the campaign. Hours after Northam's victory, ABC News White House correspondent Tara Palmeri tweeted that Bannon's team was "fuming" after Gillespie's defeat. Kelly O'Meara Morales