President Donald Trump issued a scathing statement attacking his former White House chief strategist and campaign chairman Steve Bannon, saying Bannon “lost his mind” when he was fired by the administration.
Trump’s statement is in response to quotes from an upcoming book by Bannon in which he called Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a group of Russians “treasonous.” The book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” is written by Michael Wolff and is set to be released January 9. It was excerpted Wednesday by New York Magazine and quotes from an advance copy were also published by The Guardian.
In the excerpts, Bannon addresses the June 2016 meeting held with a group of Russians in Trump Tower by Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers,” Bannon said, according to The Guardian “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s*it, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Bannon also told Wolff that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is examining possible money laundering and said the White House is “sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five” hurricane, according to The Guardian.
You can read Trump’s full statement in response to the book below:
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. 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.
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.
Bannon, a former banker who is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, became the Trump campaign’s chief executive officer in August 2016 after Manafort was removed from the position. After Trump’s election win, Bannon became the White House’s chief strategist. He left the White House in August 2017.
Trump Jr. also responded to Bannon, tweeting, “Andrew Breitbart would be ashamed of the division and lies Steve Bannon is spreading!”