- President Donald Trump on Wednesday torched his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
- “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
- Earlier in the day, The Guardian published excerpts of a book in which Bannon was quoted as criticizing many in Trump’s orbit.
President Donald Trump has had it with his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
In a scathing Wednesday statement, Trump, who has defended Bannon and not spoken poorly of him since he exited the White House in August, eviscerated the Breitbart News executive, saying he “lost his mind.”
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.
“Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party,” he continued. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.”
Earlier Wednesday, The Guardian published excerpts of the columnist Michael Wolff’s upcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
In it, Wolff quotes Bannon as saying Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser, and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, held what amounted to a “treasonous” meeting with Russian lobbyists at Trump Tower in June 2016, the report said.
Wolff also writes that Bannon said the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators would “crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV,” according to The Guardian.
Bannon has been quoted in several other recent pieces disparaging Trump.
“Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country,” Trump said in his statement. “Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans.”
Bannon had backed Roy Moore, the Republican US Senate candidate accused of sexual misconduct who lost the Alabama special election last month to his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones. Trump initially backed the incumbent senator, Luther Strange, but eventually supported Moore.
Jones was sworn into the Senate on Wednesday.
“Steve doesn’t represent my base – he’s only in it for himself,” Trump said. “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.”
He continued: “We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.”
White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, released a subsequent statement seeking to discredit Wolff’s book, saying it was “filled with false & misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House.”
“Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy,” she said.