Trump Bannon row: Book to be released early

06 January 2018, 12:21 | Robert Harris

Trump's latest on Bannon: 'He called me a great man last night'

US President Donald Trump talks to Steve Bannon during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington

According to excerpts from a new book by Michael Wolff, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", Bannon is quoted as saying that a meeting the president's son held with Russians, along with campaign advisers Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton was "treasonous".

Bannon's comments in the book are just his latest published criticism of the president and his family. "When he was sacked, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind", Trump said in a written statement. It was spurred by an unflattering new book by writer Michael Wolff that paints Trump as a leader who doesn't understand the weight of the presidency and spends his evenings eating cheeseburgers in bed, watching television and talking on the phone to old friends.

Trump's press secretary Sarah Sanders hit back.

"I certainly think that it's something they should look at and consider", Sanders said at a press briefing.

"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor - with no lawyers", Bannon was quoted as saying in the book.

Asked about Bannon's comments in the book and in recent days, Wolff said: "The president has tried to put this, this book is about Steve Bannon. She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did", Grisham said in a statement.

Mr Harder also said "legal action is imminent" against Mr Bannon, who since leaving the White House in August has been back in his role as the head of alt-right website Breitbart.

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Bannon helped Trump shape a populist, anti-establishment message and had been the president's link to his hard-line conservative base of support.

Bannon publicly backed conservative challengers in Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Mississippi and NY, where House challenger Michael Grimm issued a statement denouncing the ex-adviser's comments as "baseless attacks" that were "beyond disturbing". Much of Bannon's political clout, they argue, stemmed from the assumption that he was acting with the imprimatur of the president, even if Trump wasn't visibly in lockstep. "I'd like to associate myself with what the president had to say about Steve Bannon yesterday, " he said mischievously Thursday.

She also said the vast majority of interviews Wolff conducted with other White House officials were done at Bannon's request.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who leads the Russian Federation investigation, has asked White House officials to preserve records of the Trump Tower meeting, according to a source with knowledge of the request.

A day earlier, Trump unleashed a spectacular denunciation of Bannon, describing him as insane and irrelevant.

"Fox & Friends" host Steve Doocy reminded viewers that Bannon went on a Breitbart radio show after book excerpts were released on Wednesday and defended the president. Before Jan. 20, 2017, I knew that we were a great country; now I'm not so sure. "He obviously changed his tune pretty quick".



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