There are few things as dramatic as a public falling out between friends. During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Donald Trump and Steve Bannon made a great team. One was a television star with a charismatic, populist appeal, while the other was an alt-right media mogul who felt tuned in to the wave of dissatisfaction sweeping through middle America. Together they were able to win a race even the most optimistic polls showed them losing.
The morning of Wednesday, January 3, New York Magazine and The Guardian published an excerpt from Michael Wolff's new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Several passages feature Bannon, as Chief Strategist for the White House, saying some pretty unflattering things about Trump, his family, and his administration.
He knows what he knows.
Bannon also called the infamous meeting between a Russian agent, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr. "treasonous," and said Don Jr. would be slammed by the F.B.I. for money laundering before being "[cracked] like an egg on national TV."
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.
Though this is the first public falling out between the former allies, Bannon's camp and the White House have been steadily drifting apart since Bannon's departure last August. In the Alabama special elections to replace Senator Jeff Sessions (who Trump appointed as Attorney General), Bannon backed Roy Moore (an accused child predator), who eventually became the Republican nominee over Trump's pick, Luther Strange. When Trump finally did support Roy Moore, Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate, won the seat.
You have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company,
The President now claims that, during his time there, Bannon had very little influence at the White House — where he served as Chief Strategist for eight months.