President Donald Trump has blasted his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, saying that he has "lost his mind" in response to quotes that Bannon made in a new book about the first year of the Trump presidency, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
"Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency," Trump said in a statement issued by the White House. "When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."
Trump also diminished the role that Bannon played in his election victory and in the White House. Trump appointed Bannon as CEO of his campaign in August of 2016 and, after Trump's unexpected victory, was named one of his top White House advisers. Bannon initially had a spot on the National Security Council, and was viewed as the architect of Trump's strategy in the early months of the administration. Time magazine put him on its cover with the headline, "The Great Manipulator."
But he was dismissed from his White House role in August.
Bannon then returned to serve as executive chairman of Breitbart News Network, which he had led before he joined the Trump campaign.
A spokeswoman for Bannon did not immediately return a request for comment.
"Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn't as easy as I make it look," Trump said in his statement. "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 30 years by Republicans. Steve doesn't represent my base - he's only in it for himself."
The statement came after The Guardian published some of Bannon's quotes from the book, written by Michael Wolff and published by Henry Holt. Bannon characterises as "treasonous" a meeting that Donald Trump Jr arranged with a Russian lawyer and others in June 2016. Bannon also suggested that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was focused on money laundering. "They're going to crack Don Jr like an egg on national TV," Bannon says in the book.
Bannon also is quoted as saying that he was certain that the Russians in the Trump J. meeting also were taken to see his father.
"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," Trump said.