The White House gave a very cool response to Breitbart Chairman Steve Bannon’s bid to walk back his criticism of President Trump and his children.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley reiterated the president’s belief that Bannon has “lost it,” and is “only in it for himself.”
While traveling to Nashville on Air Force One for the president’s speech to the Farm Bureau Convention, reporters asked Gidley for the president’s reaction to Bannon’s apology.
“I don’t believe there is any way back for Mr. Bannon at this point. I just don’t think there’s any way back.”
When pressed for the president’s personal reaction, Gidley said he had not spoken to Trump on that topic specifically. However, Gidley reiterated, “…I just don’t think there’s any way back at this point.”
Bannon’s remarks about the Russia investigation and the president’s children made headlines last week amid heightened interest in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
The book portrays a Trump campaign in disarray, and an administration in upheaval, during Trump’s early months in office.
Bannon, who served as Trump’s chief strategist during the campaign, and as a chief aide during Trump’s early months as president, was quoted as saying that it was “treasonous and unpatriotic” for Donald Trump Jr., former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to hold a meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower in the summer of 2016.
However, Bannon denies this characterization of his remarks. Instead, Bannon said in a statement that he had told Wolff his comments were only about Manafort.
Gidley told reporters, “When you go after somebody’s family in the manner in which he did — two of the president’s children are serving this nation, sacrificing in their service — it is repugnant, it is grotesque and I challenge anybody to go and talk about somebody’s family and see if that person doesn’t come back and comes back hard.”
Bannon issued his apology to Trump on Saturday, calling Trump Jr. a “good man” and a “patriot,” in addition to making clear his “regret” that he did not respond sooner after his remarks to Wolff were made public.
“I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don, Jr., has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency,” Bannon said.