Donald Trump lashed out at his former chief strategist Steve Bannon on Wednesday, accusing him of having “lost his mind” after the one-time aide made explosive accusations against the president and his family in a new book.
Bannon was chief executive officer of the Trump campaign in its final three months and then White House chief strategist for seven months before returning to the rightwing Breitbart News.
Bannon declared a “season of war” on the Republican establishment and has threatened to run disruptive primary challengers against incumbent senators. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said the Alabama special election, in which the controversial Republican Roy Moore, who was accused of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, lost to Jones, demonstrates that Bannon’s anti-establishment candidates are unelectable.
Bannon has also tried to position himself as a kingmaker in Republican primary races ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
Full Presidential Statement Via BloombergPolitics:
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.
The president was responding to comments attributed to Mr. Bannon in a new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolff. The forthcoming book was obtained by The Guardian, which first reported Mr. Bannon’s jolting remarks.
The White House on Wednesday attacked not just Mr. Bannon but the book as a whole, hoping to diminish its reporting. “This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary. “Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy.”