President Donald Trump issued a rare, written statement directly rebuking one of his critics. Usually the President issues such responses via Twitter, but when the critic is Steve Bannon, a full statement appears necessary.
According to Fox News, the President is upset over remarks in Bannon’s upcoming book that characterized his son’s 2016 meeting with Russian officials as “treasonous.” “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” the President said in the statement, which downplayed Bannon’s role in the administration.
Trump issued a blistering, four-paragraph takedown of Steve Bannon Wednesday, hours after the Guardian reported that Bannon called Donald Trump Jr. “treasonous” for meeting with Russian operatives during the campaign.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Trump wrote. “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,” Trump said. “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.
He also accuses Bannon of leaking to the media while serving as his adviser at the White House.
“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,” he said. “It is the only thing he does well.”
He added, “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.”
Bannon spent just over a year formally working for the president, leaving the White House in August and returning to Breitbart News, the populist news site.