Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and former White House advisor, issued a statement of “regret” on Sunday, exclusively to Axios’ Mike Allen, and he also praised Donald Trump Jr.
President Trump and Bannon have been engaged in an all out “war of words” this past week due to Bannon betraying the President and giving unflattering information to Michael Wolff, the author of the new best-selling book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” and also giving on-the-record quotes about Donald Trump Jr.
In one widely reported quote, Bannon said that a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York City between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
President Trump, Axios is reporting, has been telling people they are either with him or Bannon, and they need to choose.
He has also been instructing surrogates to go on television to “bury Steve.”
Bannon’s statement to Axios reads:
Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around.
My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda — as I have shown daily in my national radio broadcasts, on the pages of Breitbart News and in speeches and appearances from Tokyo and Hong Kong to Arizona and Alabama.
President Trump was the only candidate that could have taken on and defeated the Clinton apparatus. I am the only person to date to conduct a global effort to preach the message of Trump and Trumpism; and remain ready to stand in the breech for this president’s efforts to make America great again.
My comments about the meeting with Russian nationals came from my life experiences as a Naval officer stationed aboard a destroyer whose main mission was to hunt Soviet submarines to my time at the Pentagon during the Reagan years when our focus was the defeat of ‘the evil empire’ and to making films about Reagan’s war against the Soviets and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in selling uranium to them.
My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.
Everything I have to say about the ridiculous nature of the Russian ‘collusion’ investigation I said on my 60 Minutes interview. There was no collusion and the investigation is a witch hunt.
I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.
The backstory … In Wolff’s book, Bannon is quoted as saying of Mueller’s prosecutors: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.’
Trump tweeted Sunday morning about the book.
I’ve had to put up with the Fake News from the first day I announced that I would be running for President. Now I have to put up with a Fake Book, written by a totally discredited author. Ronald Reagan had the same problem and handled it well. So will I!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2018