Trump-Bannon book: US President denounces 'sloppy Steve' after expose's early release

'When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,' says President

Harriet Agerholm
Friday 05 January 2018 12:04 GMT
The most explosive claims from a new book about Trump's white house

Donald Trump has called his Steve Bannon, "sloppy Steve", as the rift President and his former confidante appears to grow.

After excerpts of an explosive new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House were published, Mr Trump took to Twitter to lash out at its author Michael Wolff and his one time adviser.

He wrote: "Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!”

Mr Trump attempted to block the publication of veteran journalist 's expose, which claims that Mr Bannon called a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a Kremlin-linked lawyer “treasonous”.

He also suggested that the US President knew about the meeting, contradicting previous White House statements.

Denying that he had ever spoken to the author, Mr Trump said the text was “full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist”.

He had earlier denounced his former adviser in a statement through the White House, saying in a statement that Mr Bannon had "nothing to do with me or my presidency."

He added: "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. It is the only thing he does well."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also claimed the book was ”filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House”.

She told reporters the White House had denied more than 30 requests for information from Mr Wolff.

A lawyer for the US President sent a letter demanding Mr Woolf and his publisher, Henry Holt & Co, “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination" of the book, which contains claims Melania Trump was devastated when her husband won the election.

But the publisher responded by bringing forward the book's release date to Friday. There was "unprecedented demand" for it, they said.

“We saw a huge spike in demand yesterday,” Terry Finley, chief executive of Books-a-Million, told The Wall Street Journal. “President Trump’s attack absolutely stirred interest.”

Mr Wolff also suggested the administration had generated publicity for his book when he thanked the President in a Twitter post.

"Here we go. You can buy it (and read it) tomorrow. Thank you, Mr President," he said.

As the spat continued between Mr Trump and Mr Bannon, conservatives rounded on the former White House strategist.

“He set himself on fire in the middle of the south lawn then the president ran over him with a tank, and put it in reverse and backed over him again,” said Ed Rollins, a strategist for the pro-Trump Great America super PAC, told Fox News. "I’ve never seen anybody do anything as stupid as he did in this interview where he attacked the President and the President’s family.”

Republican representative Pete King said in a Twitter post: “Congrats to @POTUS Trump for pulverising loud mouth self promoter Bannon. Time for Bannon to disappear or find work in the circus,”

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