NEW YORK - Robert Mercer, a billionaire who is a major financial supporter of conservative causes and has close ties to President Donald Trump, is stepping down from his position as chief executive officer of the New York investment firm Renaissance Technologies.

Mercer, 71, is also selling his stake in the pro-Trump website Breitbart News to his daughters.

He announced his decision in a Thursday letter to investors that also condemned white supremacists and distanced himself from former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. He said he's speaking out "to correct some of the misinformation that has been published about me."

Mercer will formally step down from Renaissance Technologies January 1.

The development came as another Mercer-backed company, the data firm Cambridge Analytica, faces new scrutiny for possible links to the federal probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.