Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon issued a mea culpa Sunday for comments he made about President Trump and his family in Michael Wolff’s incendiary new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, asserting that his support is “unwavering for the president and his agenda.”
In a statement first reported by Axios, Bannon addressed being quoted in Wolff’s book as saying that Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” and that special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors would “crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV.”
“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,” Bannon said in his statement. He also called Trump Jr. “a patriot and a good man.”
Bannon said his remarks about the Trump Tower meeting were informed by his life experiences in the Navy, at the Pentagon, and as a documentary filmmaker. He added, “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.”
President Trump has blasted Bannon over his remarks several times. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” he said in a statement last week. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” Trump has also referred to Bannon as “Sloppy Steve” on Twitter.