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Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart News after his comments on pedophilia resurface

Publisher Simon & Schuster also announced it was canceling the publication of Yiannopoulos’ upcoming book, “Dangerous.” (Feb. 21, 2017)

Milo Yiannopoulos, the conservative provocateur whose comments on race and gender have been assailed by Democrats and Republicans alike, resigned Tuesday from his senior editor position at Breitbart News.

In recent days, nearly a dozen reporters at the conservative news organization had threatened to resign if Yiannopoulos was not fired for remarks he made that critics said endorsed pedophilia.

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Moreover, Yiannopoulos, a staunch defender of the alt-right white nationalist movement, was supposed to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, but his invitation was rescinded Monday. And Simon & Schuster announced it was canceling the publication of Yiannopoulos' upcoming book, "Dangerous."

Yiannopoulos denounced pedophilia on Tuesday and said his words were taken out of context.

"Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved," he said in a statement Tuesday. "I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately."

Shortly after it was announced he would speak at CPAC, a viral online video was released, showing Yiannopoulos making comments that many felt were supportive of  pedophilia.

"In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of 'coming of age' relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can't speak to their parents," he said in a video leaked on Twitter by a conservative group called the Reagan Battalion.

"You're misunderstanding what pedophilia means," Yiannopoulos said in the video. "Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty."

After Yiannopoulos, who is openly gay, announced his resignation, Breitbart News released a statement, calling the 32-year-old, a "bold voice [that] has sparked much-needed debate on important cultural topics confronting universities, the LGBTQ community, the press, and the tech industry."

In the last year, Yiannopoulos has, among other things, called Black Lives Matter activists "extremists," said "America has a Muslim problem" and suggested that women should stop going online so "I, Donald Trump and the rest of the alpha males will continue to dominate the Internet without feminist whining."

During the summer, he was booted from Twitter following comments he made about actress Leslie Jones, one of the stars of the latest "Ghostbusters" movie. At the time, he criticized Jones relentlessly, calling her "barely literate" among other things — comments that critics viewed as racist because Jones is black.

This month, UC Berkeley canceled a speech Yiannopoulos was set to deliver after violent protests erupted.

The move prompted President Trump, whom Yiannopoulos supports, to threaten withholding federal funds to the public school.

"If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?" he tweeted.

On Tuesday, some conservatives tried to distance themselves from Yiannopoulos.

"I don't care about Milo. Until a couple weeks ago, I never heard of him," Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary for George W. Bush, said on Twitter. "People like him should be left on the fringe and ignored."

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Yiannopoulos, at a news conference following the release of his resignation statement, again expressed regrets about his comments on pedophilia yet remained defiant.

"I've never apologized for anything else before, I don't anticipate doing it again," he said.

Twitter: @kurtisalee

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UPDATES:

2:50 p.m.: This article was updated with a statement from Breitbart News and details about Yiannopoulos' book being canceled by the publisher.

This article was originally published at 11:40 a.m.

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