On Wednesday morning, news began to break as Steve Bannon quotes began to leak from a new tell-all dedicated to spilling every last secret about the Trump campaign. Via The Guardian:
"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.
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."
President Trump wasted no time releasing a statement on Bannon's comments, casting his former chief strategist as having "nothing to do with me or my presidency."
"When he was fired," goes the presidential statement, "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..."
The statement is written in first person from Trump's perspective, full of boasts and constant references to the former Brietbart editor by his first name:
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 seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.
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. 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.
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. 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.
We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.
The back and forth seriously escalates a feud that seemed to first break into public view after Bannon supported Roy Moore over Trump's preferred candidate, Luther Strange, in the Alabama Senate race.
The book, titled Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and written by journalist Michael Wolff, contains quotes from Bannon that touch on — to put it softly — the infamous Don Jr. meeting with several Russians in Trump tower. Via The Guardian:
Bannon, speaking to author Michael Wolff, warned that the investigation into alleged collusion with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering and predicted: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
They also touch on Jared Kushner, although, again, it might be more accurate to describe the comments as beating him over the head.
“You realise where this is going,” he is quoted as saying. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”
“It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit 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.”
Just because Trump couldn't fit his statement into 280 characters, doesn't mean the feud won't continue to the 2017 version of taking it outside, via direct shots fired on Twitter.