President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted former White House adviser Steve Bannon as having "lost his mind" in the fallout over damaging comments Bannon made about Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., in excerpts of a new book.
Trump, who had continued to speak privately with Bannon in the months after firing him as the White House chief strategist last August, essentially cut ties with Bannon at least for now in a blistering statement issued after Bannon’s comments about Don Jr. came to light.
“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,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump had relied heavily on Bannon, chairman of right-wing news website Breitbart News, for advice in the months leading up to the November 2016 election that Trump unexpectedly won. Bannon helped Trump shape a populist, anti-establishment message and has been the president’s link to his conservative base of support.
In excerpts of the forthcoming book, Bannon called a June 2016 meeting with a group of Russians at Trump Tower in New York arranged by the president’s son and attended by top Trump campaign officials “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”