WASHINGTON ― Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is standing by Donald Trump, even after the president on Wednesday widened an extraordinary rift with him in response to explosive comments Bannon made in a forthcoming book.
On his Breitbart radio show Wednesday night, Bannon reiterated that he supports Trump “day in and day out” and referred to the president as “a great man.”
They were Bannon’s first public comments since excerpts of his remarks in the book were released, precipitating Wednesday’s cascade of events, which culminated in Trump and the White House issuing a furious denouncement of Bannon and Trump’s attorney threatening a lawsuit in a cease-and-desist letter. Bannon’s conservative allies also sought to distance themselves.
On Thursday morning, Bannon returned to the airwaves, telling his followers that “there’s no one we think higher [of] than Donald Trump.” He also accused “left-wing” media of attempting to create the feud between him and Trump, assuring listeners that “we are tight.”
“Nothing will ever come between us and President Trump and his agenda. Don’t worry about that,” the Breitbart chairman told a caller on his show. “Don’t worry about us and Trump and the [Make America Great Again] agenda. We are tight on this as we’ve ever been.”
Trump and the White House all but cut off ties with Bannon on Wednesday, after it was revealed that he unleashed a bevy of criticisms and accusations against members of the Trump administration and the president’s family in journalist Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury.
In an unusual statement, Trump diminished Bannon’s role in his campaign and administration and claimed that his former chief strategist had “lost his mind.”
Prominent conservative donor and Bannon ally Rebekah Mercer has also reportedly pulled her support of him, according to The Washington Post.
Trump has reportedly seethed when Bannon, who helped craft Trump’s “America First” platform and embrace of ultra-conservative groups, has been in the spotlight. Last summer, Trump had been angry about reporter Joshua Green’s book Devil’s Bargain, which detailed Bannon’s role in Trump’s political rise. Trump also believed Bannon was responsible for leaking information to reporters before his departure from the White House in August.