Donald Trump slams ex-aide Steve Bannon; says he 'lost his mind'
Washington, Jan 3: US President Donald Trump slammed his former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, claiming that he had "lost his mind" after being "fired". Bannon, 64, was the top manager of the Trump campaign and the White House chief strategist in the first seven months of the Trump administration. He was fired on August 18. "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. "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," he said. "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," said the President.
"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", Trump said in a stinging attack on his former top advisor.
"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, Trump alleged. It is the only thing he does well, he said. Bannon was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with him and only pretends to have had the influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phoney books, Trump further said.
"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," Trump said in a lengthy statement.
Trump's statement came amid a media report about a book in which Bannon has described the Trump Tower meeting between the president's son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic", according to the book seen by the Guardian.
The book written by Michael Wolff gives an insight into the Trump's election campaign. In a statement, the White House has disputed the contents of the book. "This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
First Lady Melania Trump's spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said: "Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy. The book is clearly going to be sold in the bargain fiction section. "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".