Wednesday, January 3, 2018

White House pushes back against Bannon claims

The White House is pushing back against comments made by former chief strategist Steve Bannon in an explosive new book, insisting the president's base will not be affected.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday President Donald Trump was "disgusted" at claims made by former chief strategist Steve Bannon about the Trump family.

Representatives for President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are pushing back against an explosive new book that, among other things, says Trump never expected to be elected and that his wife shed tears, but not of joy, on election night.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, is filled with "false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House."

Sanders continues: "Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy."

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's spokeswoman, says: "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."

“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 on Wednesday.

Bannon told journalist Michael Wolff that he viewed a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russian operatives arranged by Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” according to a summary published by the Guardian.

A statement accompanying an excerpt published Wednesday in New York Magazine said Wolff conducted more than 200 interviews over 18 months, and Wolff said he was given “something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing.”

In recent months, Bannon hasn’t shied away from criticizing the White House, chiding the president for backing incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in the Alabama Senate Republican primary instead of Roy Moore, calling on Trump’s lawyers to take a harder line in Robert Mueller’s investigation and lamenting that the administration hasn’t taken a harder line on China.

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