U.S. President Donald Trump broke with his former close campaign aide and chief White House strategist Steve Bannon on Wednesday after the far-right populist lambasted the president’s son and son-in-law for a meeting with Russians he called treasonous.
Trump, who in August thanked Bannon for his service, indicated in a statement Wednesday that Bannon “had very little to do with our historic victory.”
Trump’s full statement, released Wednesday, said:
“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.
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“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.
“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. 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.”
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“We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.”
— Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Jonathan Oatis. With a file from Global News.