Trump: Bannon has ‘lost his mind’
by admin ·
The president’s statement came as part of a full-court press by the White House against the book.
The notion that Trump Jr. bumbled his way into the middle of the Russia controversy while doing the bidding of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is widely held among Bannon and his allies, where there is anger at Trump Jr. for creating a political mess for his father.
“I agree with Steve, why would Donald Trump Jr. take that meeting?,” said one source close to Bannon. “I don’t think he’s actively committing treason but it is just so idiotic. Look, I’m a huge fan of Don Jr., I just feel bad for the guy because this is Jared’s game and he’s just caught up in this mess now.”
In interviews with Bannon’s allies conducted before Trump’s statement, there was some optimism that the president would look past Bannon’s remarks and chalk them up as “fake news.”
“I’ve seen some people complaining about their quotes so [it] wouldn’t surprise me if some of Steve’s stuff was victim of that too,” said one person close to Bannon.
But Bannon’s remarks about Trump Jr. caught on with help from influential conservative aggregator Matt Drudge, who led his website with the story.
“Drudge is tight with Jared, so it’s no surprise that he’d drive that storyline,” said one former White House adviser. In a tweet, Drudge called Bannon “schizophrenic.”
The book added to the swirl of controversy that has enveloped the White House shortly after Trump’s return to Washington this week from his holiday vacation in Florida.