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Stephen Bannon, the controversial former chief strategist for President Donald Trump, will not be coming to Missoula.

Michel Valentin, a former faculty member at the University of Montana who had agreed to debate Bannon, said Tuesday he received an email from an organizer of the event saying Bannon was not available.

"It’s too bad because I was really psyched up. I was ready," Valentin said.

The Montana Kaimin first reported the news Bannon would not appear for the debate.

The debate cancellation follows the cancellation of Bannon's planned keynote address to the 2018 ACE Advances in Computer Technology in Entertainment conference after researchers questioned the quality of the academic peer review and presenters began boycotting the forum.

Presenters also took issue with organizer Adrian Cheok's selection of Bannon as a speaker, as well as Cheok's decision to cooperate with a conference called the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots.

Cheok did not respond to an earlier Missoulian request to connect with Bannon directly.

Said Valentin: "The whole thing is bizarre."

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University of Montana, higher education