President Trump and his former adviser Steve Bannon have been engaged in a public battle after Bannon made comments on the "treasonous" behavior of the current administration. Now, Trump's attorney is threatening legal action against Bannon over the interviews he took part in for an explosive new book on the president, which may or may not contain embarrassing or potentially explosive details on the Trump election campaign's conduct.
In an excerpt from the upcoming book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, Bannon had asserted that Donald Trump Jr.'s meetings with Russian personnel in order to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton were patently "treasonous" and “unpatriotic.” He also described Ivanka Trump as “dumb as a brick.”
“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV," said Bannon. Donald Jr. has not responded to the comments just yet.
"Fire and Fury" will be available next Tuesday, and it may contain more incriminating details about Trump and his family's behavior. Descriptions of Trump in the book are already overtly negative and describe the president as a dopey, short-tempered and uninterested egomaniac.
The book also cites an email from an unnamed White House aide that was reportedly a reflection of national economics adviser Gary D. Cohn's view on Trump's presidency: “It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything — not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.”
A quote from Thomas J. Barrack, a friend and adviser to Trump, is already being contested. Wolff claims that Barrack noted how associates and advisers to Trump described the president as an “idiot ... crazy ... stupid." Barrack claims he said no such thing.
Trump fired back at Bannon shortly after the comments went public, vociferously distancing himself from his former strategist.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump wrote in an ornery statement. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Yesterday, Trump's attorney backed up his words with threats of legal action, sending a cease-and-desist letter to Bannon in regard to his defamatory comments.
“Legal action is imminent,” said the letter, according to a report by CNN.
Bannon has since declined to comment on the situation.
“Going after the president’s son in an absolutely outrageous and unprecedented way is probably not the best way to curry favor with anybody,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, in a briefing just yesterday. Sanders went on to characterize Wolff's text as “trashy tabloid fiction” that is “filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House.”
Wolff is standing by the claims in his book. He said he is “wholly comfortable with [his] numerous sources.”
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