President Donald Trump has lashed out at former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, claiming he has “lost his mind.”
Curiously, Trump issued the damning rebuke of Bannon in an official press statement, not through his preferred medium of Twitter.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” the statement reads. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
Trump’s statement comes after Bannon claimed a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Trump’s campaign officials and a Russian lawyer was “treasonous.”
In Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the White House, Bannon said that the meeting — which involved Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner — was to obtain “very high level and sensitive information” on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon said.
Likely adding to Trump’s fury was this line about his son, Donald Trump Jr.: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
Bannon also said that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia centered on money laundering.
Trump responded by bashing Bannon for supporting former Chief Justice Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. Moore, who has a history of homophobia, racism, and was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl, lost to Democrat Doug Jones.
“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 thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base — he’s only in it for himself.”
Trump also claimed that Bannon was “leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was.”
After he was dismissed from the White House earlier this year, Bannon returned to far-right website Breitbart News as its executive chair.
His involvement in Trump’s election campaign and subsequent senior position in the White House was a source of constant criticism, mainly due to his work with Breitbart.
The site became notorious for allegedly supporting white nationalism and for producing anti-LGBTQ content after Bannon took over as executive chair in 2012.
Bannon oversaw headlines including “Big Gay Hate Machine Closes Christian Pizza Parlor” and “Trannies Whine About Hilarious Bruce Jenner Billboard.” The website also referred to LGBTQ groups as “The Gaystapo.”
Bannon himself has a history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. In a 2011 interview he called progressive women “a bunch of dykes,” while last year, on Breitbart’s radio show, he engaged in an anti-transgender rant, slamming Target’s pro-trans bathroom policy.
He said that by allowing trans people to use a bathroom that matched their gender identity, Target was forcing children to “into a bathroom with a guy with a beard in a dress.”
At the time, he was speaking with Sandy Rios, who works for American Family Association — an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a “hate group” for their extreme anti-LGBTQ attitudes.
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