The media are all abuzz about the “feud” between Donald Trump and former adviser Steve Bannon. It started with reporter Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” which quotes Bannon. Wolff interviewed many people in the White House, over a long period of time. Could it be that Bannon was taken out of context? Could things he said have been irony? It doesn’t matter, Trump has come out shooting from the hip, with both guns blazing.
First, let’s look at some of the “revelations” in the book.
1. Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, described a meeting set up by Donald Trump Jr. with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon is quoted as saying.
2. Bannon reportedly said the president likely met with the meeting’s participants afterward, speculating that Trump’s son brought them up to his father’s office. “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero,” Bannon said.
3. Trump didn’t want to win, and no one in his campaign thought he would win. “Well, it would only be a problem if we won,” former national security adviser Michael Flynn assured his friends about his decision to accept $45,000 for a speech in Russia.
4. Trump would speculate on the flaws of his staff after hanging up the phone with them. “Bannon was disloyal (not to mention he always looks like shit). [Reince] Priebus was weak (not to mention he was short—a midget),” Wolff recalls about Trump’s reflections. “[Jared] Kushner was a suck-up. Sean Spicer was stupid (and looks terrible too). Conway was a crybaby. Jared and Ivanka should never have come to Washington.”
5. Trump [told] Hope Hicks. . .who had dated former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. . . “You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have.
6. As a candidate, Trump had no interest in learning about the Constitution, which he knew very little about. . .
7. Trump [said of]. . . Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. . .“She was, he steamed, ‘such a c—.’”
8. Trump didn’t enjoy his own inauguration. “He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event. . .
9. Trump never reads. “He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. . .
10. Trump would mention getting in bed with other women. “Trump liked to say that one of the things that made life worth living was getting your friends’ wives into bed,”. . .
Let’s turn to Breitbart, which Bannon leads, to get more on the story. Here’s a portion of Trump’s reaction:
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. . .
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.
Remember that the quotes were from when Bannon was still at the White House, not after he left. As for Bannon’s position, Breitbart quotes Trump, himself:
In November 2016, in a statement announcing Bannon’s appointment as chief strategist in the White House, Trump said: “Steve [Bannon] and Reince [Priebus] are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”
And Breitbart notes that Trump is hurting only himself, quoting Trump detractors:
Members of NeverTrump — conservative pundits who said they would never vote for Donald Trump — are celebrating President Donald Trump’s attack Wednesday on Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon. . .
Meanwhile, Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller says Breitbart readers are standing behind Trump, not Bannon.
Not sure what Bannon is trying to accomplish here, but it only helps the democrats, so what’s the point?. . .
Banon has got to go! He is ruining himself by his own hand. No one believed that he helped Trump win. . .
The investigation ws Russian collusin based on a DNC fake dossier. Want to go after money laundering, go after Clinton Foundation.
Mary Kata Kimbe
Bye, Steve. If I have to choose between Trump and Bannon. . .Too bad Breitbart is in the crossfire.
The DailyCaller takes an even more painful stab at both Bannon and Breitbart:
On the other hand, Bannon doesn’t even consider Breitbart — his own publication — to be a reputable outlet.
“[The information from the meeting could be] dumped down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication,” Bannon told Wolff in excerpts released to the press Wednesday.
Glenn Beck’s The Blaze quoted Trump Junior.
“Alabama now has one US senator who is a Democrat and another who used to be a Democrat,” Trump first retweeted from a Bloomberg reporter, adding the comment, “Thanks Steve. Keep up the great work.”. . .
“Minus the foul language The Mooch pretty much nailed it,” Trump Jr. said, referring to a rant from former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci last summer:
“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c**k. I’m not trying to build my own brand off the f***ing strength of the president. I’m here to serve the country,” he said at the time.
Trump Jr. ended his tirade of tweets blasting Bannon for his transformation of Breitbart News. . .
And finally, from Business Insider, a surprising evaluation by Bannon.
Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, called Ivanka Trump, the president’s eldest daughter and top White House adviser, “dumb as a brick.”
But the most worrisome of the whole episode is not Trump’s wild rant about what a reporter wrote that Bannon may or may not have said months previously. The real concern is that Trump is trying to ban the book.
“Banning books.” Why does that sound familiar?
Here it is, from Fox News:
President Trump’s legal team on Thursday sent a letter to the publisher and author of a forthcoming book about the White House demanding they immediately stop its publication, a day after excerpts led the president to issue a rare, blistering takedown of former adviser Steve Bannon.
“Mr. Trump hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book,” the attorney, Charles J. Harder, wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News.