President Donald Trump says he has cut off contact with his former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
“I don’t talk to him,” the president told reporters Thursday, one day after excerpts of a new book surfaced in which Bannon was critical of the president, his oldest son, other family members and close aides.
What followed was a White House strafing of Bannon, with the president referring to him as a mere “staffer” and someone who “lost his mind” after being fired from the White House. “Stephen K. Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” the president said in a Wednesday statement. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
Bannon broke his daylong silence after the book excerpts went public with remarks on “Breitbart News Tonight” on Sirius XM.
“The president is a great man,” Bannon told a caller. “You know I support him day in and day out.”
The president seized on those comments quickly as evidence that Bannon was backing away from his positions outlined in Michael Wolff’s forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
“I don’t know, he called me a ‘great man’ last night,” Trump said. “He obviously changed his tune pretty quick.”
The president’s personal attorney on Wednesday also sent Bannon a letter demanding he cease and desist making disparaging comments about the first family.