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Steve Bannon: Donald Trump Jr meeting with Russians ‘treasonous’

Thursday - 04/01/2018 03:51
DONALD Trump has slammed his former right-hand man Steve Bannon after the former aide called a meeting between the president’s son and the Russians “treasonous”.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has taken an extraordinary swipe at former senior counsellor, Steve Bannon, saying he has “lost his mind”.

His comments came after Bannon called a meeting between Mr Trump’s son Donald Jr and a group of Russians “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” in a new book.

“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,” Mr Trump said in a statement. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.

Steve Bannon, right, has taken a swipe at Donald Trump Jr. Picture: Supplied
Steve Bannon, right, has taken a swipe at Donald Trump Jr. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

“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. It is the only thing he does well,” he said. “Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.

US President Donald Trump (L) with former Senior Counselor Steve Bannon. Picture: AFP
US President Donald Trump (L) with former Senior Counselor Steve Bannon. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

The extraordinary broadside is in contrast to Mr Trump’s comments when Bannon left the White House in August, calling him a “good man” and a “friend” who “gets very unfair press”.

However, the gloves came off this morning after comments by Bannon in a new Michael Wolff book, set to be released next week, were published by The Guardian.

Bannon slammed a decision by Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to take a meeting in Trump Tower with a group of Russians who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior aide to US President Donald Trump. Picture: AFP
Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior aide to US President Donald Trump. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

 

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Picture: AFP
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers,” Bannon told author Michael Wolff, The Guardian reports, during an interview for his book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad sh*t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon said, according to the book.

The meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had ties to the Kremlin, and other Russians was held in June 2016.

Bannon said Donald Jr will “crack like an egg” under the pressure of the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling.

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was at the Trump Tower meeting. Picture: AFP
Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was at the Trump Tower meeting. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

“They’re going to crack Don Jr like an egg on national TV,” he said. “You realise where this is going,” Bannon told Wolff. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose (senior prosecutor Andrew) Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to f**king Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner ... It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

Author Michael Wolff’s book comes out next week. Picture: Supplied
Author Michael Wolff’s book comes out next week. Picture: SuppliedSource:News Limited

Bannon, who is not a fan of moderates Kushner or Ivanka Trump, said reports that federal prosecutors had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank could spell the end for Kushner and Donald Jr.

“It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner s**t. The Kushner s**t is greasy. They’re going to go right through that. They’re going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me,” he said.

Bannon said Mr Trump and the White House should be more concerned about what is coming.

“They’re sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five,” he said.

Steve Bannon was no fan of Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump. Picture: AFP
Steve Bannon was no fan of Jared Kushner or Ivanka Trump. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

The US President has constantly called the Russia investigation a “witch hunt”.

Bannon departed the White House in August and returned to his role at right-wing media outlet Breitbart News.

However, he still holds sway within the Republican Party and until today was believed to still have the president’s ear on certain matters.

Bannon successfully pushed for Roy Moore to be the Republican candidate to replace Jeff Sessions’ seat in Alabama over Luther Strange, who Mr Trump had backed.

Republican candidate for the US Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore. Picture: Getty
Republican candidate for the US Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore. Picture: GettySource:AFP

 

Vice President Mike Pence (R) campaigned for Luther Strange. Picture: Getty
Vice President Mike Pence (R) campaigned for Luther Strange. Picture: GettySource:AFP

However, Mr Moore was later accused of being a pedophile and Alabama voted for Democrat Doug Jones, the first Senate Democrat to represent Alabama in decades.

“Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country,” Mr Trump said in his statement. “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.”

White House issued a separate statement, trashing the book.

“This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House,” said press secretary Sarah Sanders. “Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy.”

Michael Wolff’s new book claims that Melania Trump cried when her husband won the election and it was not out of joy. Picture: Getty
Michael Wolff’s new book claims that Melania Trump cried when her husband won the election and it was not out of joy. Picture: GettySource:AFP

Melania Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham responded to claims that the now-First Lady cried when Mr Trump won the election because she never expected him to win.

“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,” Grisham said.

Wolff’s book is set to be released next week.

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