WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump launched a scathing attack on former top adviser Steve Bannon on Wednesday, responding to a new book that portrays Trump as an undisciplined man-child who didn’t actually want to win the White House and quotes Bannon as calling his son’s contact with a Russian lawyer “treasonous.”

Hitting back via a formal White House statement rather than a more-typical Twitter volley, Trump insisted Bannon had little to do with his victorious campaign and “has nothing to do with me or my Presidency.”

“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said.

It was a blistering attack against the man who helped deliver the presidency to Trump. It was spurred by an unflattering new book by writer Michael Wolff that paints Trump as a leader who doesn’t understand the weight of the presidency and spends his evenings eating cheeseburgers in bed, watching television and talking on the phone to old friends.

White House aides were blindsided when early excerpts from “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” were published online by New York magazine and other media outlets ahead of the Jan. 9 publication date.

The release left Trump “furious” and “disgusted,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who complained that the book contained “outrageous” and “completely false claims against the president, his administration and his family.”

Asked what specifically had prompted the president’s fury with Bannon, she said: “I would certainly think that going after the president’s son in an absolutely outrageous and unprecedented way is probably not the best way to curry favor with anybody.”

In the book, an advance copy of which was provided to The Associated Press, Bannon is quoted as describing a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” The meeting has become a focus of federal and congressional investigators.

Bannon also told Wolff the investigations into potential collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials would likely focus on money laundering.

“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon was quoted as saying in one section that was first reported by The Guardian.

A spokeswoman for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for a comment. Trump Jr. lashed out in a series of tweets, including one that said Andrew Breitbart, the founder of the Breitbart News site that Bannon now runs, “would be ashamed of the division and lies Steve Bannon is spreading!”

Bannon, who was forced out of his White House job last summer, was not surprised or particularly bothered by the blowback, according to a person familiar with his thinking but not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. That person said Bannon vowed on Wednesday to continue his war on the Republican establishment and also predicted that, after a cooling-off period, he’d continue to speak with Trump, who likes to maintain contact with former advisers even after he fires and sometimes disparages them.

Sanders said Bannon and Trump last spoke in the first part of last month.

The former-and-current Breitbart News head has told associates that he believes Trump has been ill-served by some his closest allies, including eldest son Don Jr. and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law. Bannon believes they have exposed Trump to the Russia probe that could topple his presidency and that Trump would be able to accomplish more without them

So far, there is no indication that Bannon is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But the House intelligence committee has invited him, along with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, for a closed-door interview as a part of the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to a person familiar with the invitation.

Trump, up until Wednesday, had been complimentary of Bannon, saying in October that the two “have a very good relationship” and had been friends for “a long time.”

In the book, Bannon also speaks critically of Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka, calling her “dumb as a brick.”

“A little marketing savvy and has a look but as far as understanding actually how the world works and what politics is and what it means — nothing,” he is quoted saying.

New York magazine also published a lengthy adaptation of the book on Wednesday, in which Wolff writes that Trump believed his presidential nomination would boost his brand and deliver “untold opportunities” — but that he never expected to win.

It says Trump Jr. told a friend that his father looked as if he’d seen a ghost when it became clear he might win. The younger Trump described Melania Trump as “in tears — and not of joy.”

The first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, disputed that, saying Mrs. Trump supported her husband’s decision to run, encouraged him to do so and was happy when he won.

“The book is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section,” Grisham said in a statement.

Wolff was generally granted access to the White House with a ‘blue badge” instead of the traditional press badge, giving him wide access to the West Wing, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal protocol. One former White House official said Wolff was known to camp out for hours in the West Wing lobby after meetings, sitting on a sofa as he waited to talk to staffers passing by.

Wolff said in an author’s note that the book was based on more than 200 interviews, including multiple conversations with the president and senior staff. But Sanders said Wolff “never actually sat down with the president” and had spoken with him just once, briefly, by phone, since Trump had taken office.

She also said the vast majority of interviews Wolff conducted with other White House officials were done at Bannon’s request.

Bannon’s comments in the book are just his latest published criticism of the president and his family. In a Vanity Fair piece late last year, he was quoted telling friends and advisers that Trump had “lost a step” since his swearing-in and was “like an 11-year-old child.”

Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.




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15 thoughts on “Donald Trump Attacks Steve Bannon Over New Book

  1. specialt757 on said:

    Yes, but Bannon’s perception of the fake prez is not new news. He said he was a child long ago. And you’re right, everyone knew trump never wanted to actually perform the duties of president and it was a complete surprise to him when he won. I can almost see the tears in M. trump’s eyes, she didn’t want to become first LAY-D porn star. Trump’s mouth wrote a check he couldn’t cash. He’s a terrible president and even the GOP and his staff know this. But what can they do now, nothing but make the best of it, which is impossible, but at least they get their agendas passed. They hate trump and they are all some fake a$$ mofos hoping like hell these next 3 years fly-by. You can see a lot of them are jumping ship, they really don’t wont to be associated with this farce of a presidency. Who can blame them? Well, I can, they shouldn’t have hated Obama so much, now they must lay/lie in this sh*t-stained bed they made.

  2. I also took note of his wife’s reaction when he won, they said she was distraught. They talked about How he was fighting with her the day of the inauguration. That will explain the look he gave her when when she frowned during his fake swearing in. Melania denied everything. If it wasn’t true they would sue. I believe it to be true. This country is a mess. And it starts at the top.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      Yes, there was a picture from election night after he won and he looked like he s**ted on himself…LOL! That’s what his dumb ass get for trying to use the election for business purposes and it backfired on him. He made a complete mockery out of our democracy system and now he’s going to pay.

  3. Passing Through!! on said:

    Basically this book pretty much confirmed what we already knew, trump is a f**king idiot! And he and his family broke the law broke the law and should go to prison.

    • specialt757 on said:

      When I read this yesterday on another site, those were my exact thoughts. No one wants to read her bs. Her only spin will be, I was the only AA woman in his fake “cabinet”, but not really because she didn’t even have a job title. Some people want to know what that was like, but since she didn’t represent black people, her book will be as fake as she is. I would feel sorry for her, but only because she’s a educated and “intelligent” black woman, but I don’t. She made the choice to be trump’s bed wench and now she has to lay/lie in that stank for the rest of her life. Trump won’t be president for long, but she will have to wear her decision forever.

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        Omarosa has nothing to spill on trump except some gossip bs that nobody cares about, plus she’s a black woman smearing a white man she probably won’t get a book deal. So he and Melania sleeps in separate beds, she probably witnessed a few outburst and disagreement but I’m sure nothing that can top Bannon’s account of events. Further more she’s black he didn’t allow her to truly be inside his circle. Besides if she doesn’t have any dirt on Russia or his criminal activity I’m really not interested.

  4. I wonder what all those white women who follow their dumbass husbands and voted for this dumbass prez are getting what they deserve. A corrupt incompetent Buffon as prez. Sad. It’s a Sad state of affairs.

  5. I’m getting my popcorn ready for this ish. Bannon turned on the nut in cheif. Wooooow! Everything this incompetent idiot touches turns to mush. Now his fake voter fraud commission is dissolved. I’m lovin it. He can’t blame Obama for this mess. He said Bannon lost his mind. His losing his. He will not make it through this yr.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      Popcorn & wine coolers! Who would have thought Bannon would have bent trump over with no grease, he didnt put no lube on the bat before he rammed it in!!! And l have to agree with 99.99% the snippets coming from this book.

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