Washington (CNN) - President Donald Trump excoriated his former chief strategist Steve Bannon in a statement Wednesday, claiming that Bannon "lost his mind" after being pushed out from the White House.
The White House released the strongly worded 266-word statement from the President slamming Bannon after after excerpts from a new book quoted Bannon as calling the meeting between a Russian lawyer and the President's eldest son, son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort "treasonous" and "unpatriotic."
"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. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating 17 candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party," Trump said in the statement.
Bannon: 2016 Trump Tower meeting was 'treasonous'
Bannon did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
Trump's fiery statement marked the most significant rebuke by the President of his former chief strategist, who since leaving the White House has maintained an influential position as an informal adviser to Trump and a de-facto leader of the President's populist movement.
"Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn't as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country," Trump said.
Trump also accused Bannon, who has called the mainstream media the "opposition party," of being too cozy with reporters and spending much of his time inside the White House leaking "false information."
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