President Donald Trump has responded to a report detailing former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s criticism of the president and statements about the Trump campaign’s 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian attorney who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.
In a forthcoming book obtained by the Guardian, Bannon told author Michael Wolff that the meeting between the Russian attorney promising damaging information on Trump’s former opponent, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner — which took place at Trump Tower, allegedly without campaign attorneys — was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon told Wolff.
On Wednesday, Trump issued a scathing response to the news, claiming that Bannon “lost his mind,” as he tries to mitigate the negative coverage regarding the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and his campaign.
Statement from Trump: "Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind." pic.twitter.com/FwlAncsrV1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 3, 2018
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Trump said in the statement. “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.”
Bannon was just one of many interviews conducted by Wolff for his upcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” Bannon, who since leaving the White House has returned to hyper-conservative publication Breitbart, was lauded as a kingmaker of sorts following Trump’s election — a perception which many believe irked Trump.
Read the rest of the White House statement below:
“Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.
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.
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.”