CNN’s Tapper: ‘Nasty’ Trump-Bannon Fallout Like Nothing ‘Ever Before in U.S. History’

Wednesday on CNN’s “The Lead,” host Jake Tapper reacted to reports about Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” calling the news about President Donald Trump’s former chief White House counselor and Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon’s excerpts “explosive.”

Tapper said, “For the youngsters out there, it’s impossible to overstate just how bizarre today’s news is. President Trump issued a statement like no presidential statement ever before in American history, lambasting his former campaign and White House senior strategist Steve Bannon in no uncertain terms. This comes after the release of explosive excerpts from a new book claiming to reveal the inner-workings of the Trump campaign and White House.”

He added, “What could be the most consequential revelation, Bannon seeming to tell the book’s author he thinks that meeting between Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with others who were billed as being from the Russian government, that that meeting was ‘unpatriotic’ and ‘treasonous.’ The president apparently being told about that excerpt unloaded today in an official White House statement blasting his former consigliere, saying, quote, ‘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.’ And then the president got nasty. All these bombshells and Trump world details are in the upcoming book, “Fire and Fury,” by Michael Wolff. Wolff conducted more than 200 interviews, and this was all made possible, he claims because he was able to take a semipermanent seat on a couch in the West Wing. That idea was encouraged by President Trump himself, Wolff says.”

He continued, “Let’s begin with CNN’s Jeff Zeleny at the White House and, Jeff, in this statement, the likes of which we’ve never seen before from a president about an aide, going after Bannon. He says that Bannon was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with President Trump and really didn’t have much influence. Is that true?”

Zeleny said “Jake that simply does not comport with what we saw here during the first eight months. Just to set the scene a little bit here, the West Wing is actually a small place, as you know. Steve Bannon’s office was just steps away from the Oval Office. He had walk-in privileges. That means he could walk in whenever the president wanted to see him. One official, I talked to just a few minutes ago said he met privately with the president all the time, more than many of his advisers. Of course, that is normal because he was the chief strategist. So the fact that the president today is trying to distance himself from Steve Bannon, obviously in advance of this book, does not comport with what actually happened during the eight months of the presidency. During the briefing, a contentious briefing, no question, the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, dismissed this as tabloid trash. She said the president was furious. She also said these allegations are simply ridiculous.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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