Far-right former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, in a new book, calls a meeting of Trump campaign officials with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign "treasonous" and "unpatriotic."
Steve Bannon, in a new book, calls a meeting of Trump campaign officials with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign "treasonous" and "unpatriotic." According to NBC News, Bannon also believes that the Russians were taken after the meeting to speak with President Trump in person, something that Trump denies ever happened.
In a statement, Trump responded:
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.
Soon after Trump's denunciation of Steve Bannon hit the presses, movement conservative magazine National Review quickly responded.
"Trump is clearly exaggerating to belittle Bannon, but this basic picture here is correct," wrote Rich Lowry at the National Review. "Bannon is all about himself, he spent a lot of time leaking for his own ends in the White House, and he doesn’t realize the extent to which Trump, not he, was the genius in the Trump campaign."
Melania Trump's spokesperson has issued harsh words towards the book.
"The book is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section," she said, according to NBC. "Mrs. Trump supported her husband's decision to run for President and in fact, encouraged him to do so. She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did."
Conservatives are praising Trump for his criticism of Steve Bannon.
Bill Kristol, for instance, immediately took to Twitter to praise Trump for his statement.
Ben Shapiro interprets Trump's statement as a watershed moment in his presidency.
Mitch McConnell's Senate campaign also released a statement on Twitter expressing that Mitch McConnell was happy to see the president give fuel to the wing of the Republican Party that has long been trying to rid the party of Bannon and his cohorts.
National Review correctly points out that this event makes the ongoing GOP civil war even more interesting. The blistering statement will undoubtedly separate President Trump from the nationalist, populist wing of the Republican Party represented by Steve Bannon and others.
Please read more about President Trump's scathing statement toward Steve Bannon in our recent story.