Donald Trump

Steve Bannon’s attempts to mend his relationship with Donald Trump are lies, claims author

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 January, 2018, 1:24am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 February, 2018, 4:20am

Steve Bannon’s attempt to reassure President Donald Trump that they are still on the same side is a lie, the author of a book that exposed friction within the White House has claimed.

In his new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House Michael Wolff claims that Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, described a meeting between Donald Trump Jnr, senior campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

The reference angered the president, who last week lashed out at Bannon, saying he had “lost his mind.”

Bannon sought to make amends on Sunday, saying in a statement his description was not aimed at Trump’s son but at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

But Wolff told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday: “it was not directed at Manafort, it was directed directly at Don Jnr.”

Wolff’s book portrays the 45th president as a leader who does not understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides.

Trump administration officials and allies defended Trump and attacked the book on Sunday.

Chief policy adviser Stephen Miller, in a combative appearance Sunday on CNN, described the book as “nothing but a pile of trash through and through.”

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Trump was “completely fit” to lead the country.

Book review – Fire and Fury is a must-read toxic tale of Trump’s White House, with Bannon’s voice the loudest

“These are from people who just have not accepted the fact that President Trump is the United States president and I’m sorry for them in that,” Pompeo, who gives Trump his regular intelligence briefings, said on Fox News Sunday.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said she visits the White House once a week, and “no one questions the stability of the president.”

“I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to, to lie for money and for power. This is like taking it to a whole new low,” she told ABC’s This Week.

That picture, said Miller, “is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him.”

Trump rejects author’s accusations, calls himself ‘a very stable genius’

Miller also criticised Bannon, who is quoted extensively in the book, saying it was “tragic and unfortunate” that Bannon “would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality, and obviously so vindictive.”

Bannon is chairman of Breitbart News, and has reportedly been circulating among prominent Republican figures ahead of his own run for president in 2020.

His comments caused a key Bannon backer, Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire Republican donor and Breitbart co-owner, to distance her family from him.

In his statement Sunday, Bannon praised Trump Jnr as “both a patriot and a good man.”

“I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jnr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency,” Bannon said in the statement, which was first obtained by the news site Axios.

Miller’s interview on CNN’s State of the Union quickly grew heated, with Miller criticising CNN’s coverage and moderator Jake Tapper accusing Miller of speaking to an audience of one: his boss.

Tapper abruptly ended the interview, saying: “I think I’ve wasted enough of my viewers’ time.”

Soon after, Trump tweeted: “Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunkey!”

Trump took the extraordinary step Saturday of using Twitter to defend his fitness for office, insisting he is “like, really smart” and, indeed, a “very stable genius.”

He pressed the case again on Sunday as he prepared to depart Camp David, where he spent the weekend meeting with Republican congressional leaders, top aides and Cabinet members.

“I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author,” he tweeted.

On Sunday, two days after the book’s release, WikiLeaks tweeted a link to an electronic image of the text.

Posting the text of a book without permission would violate copyright restrictions and potentially damage sales.

Yet, hours after WikiLeaks tweeted the link, Fire and Fury remained No 1 on Amazon’s lists of hardcover and e-book bestsellers.