Stephen Miller, the senior policy adviser for President Trump, lashed out at Breitbart News chairman Steve Bannon on Sunday for his contribution to a scathing book that shows the White House beset by ineptitude and disorder.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper, Miller said the entire Trump administration is “deeply disappointed” in Bannon’s critical comments about the White House in journalist Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” published on Friday. In the book, Bannon described Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner’s controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower as treasonous and unpatriotic.
Miller was asked to respond to a passage in the book in which Bannon is quoted saying, “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office of the 26th floor is zero.”
Miller replied, “Steve Bannon’s eloquence in that description notwithstanding, it’s tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments, so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive.”
Bannon led Trump’s campaign in its final months and served as the White House’s chief strategist for the first seven months of Trump’s presidency, before they had a highly publicized falling out.
“And with respect to the Trump Tower meeting that he’s talking about, he wasn’t even there when any of this went down,” Miller said. “So, he’s not really a remotely credible source on any of it. It reads like an angry, vindictive person spouting off to a highly discredible [sic] author.”
Following Trump’s lead, Miller said “Fire and Fury” is best understood as “a work of very poorly written fiction” and that Wolff is “a garbage author of a garbage book.”
“And the tragic thing about this book — and there are many things about it that are unfortunate — but the portrayal of the president in the book is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him, to my own experience, having spent the last two years with him,” Miller said.
Toward the end of the interview, Miller started to chide CNN. He accused the network of running anti-Trump material “24 hours a day.” Tapper said Miller was being obsequious, only caring about Trump.
“I think I have wasted enough of my viewers’ time,” Tapper said, before cutting Miller’s microphone.
Conservative political operative Corey Lewandowski, who managed Trump’s campaign from January 2015 to June 2016, was similarly disturbed by Bannon’s critiques. Lewandowski said he has a difficult time believing what Wolff wrote but that Bannon should be ashamed if it’s true.
“He owes Donald Trump, he owes Donald Trump Jr., he owes Jared Kushner and the entire Trump family an apology if that’s what he said. And if that’s what he said, then shame on Steve Bannon because that is so out of bounds to accuse somebody of treason,” Lewandowski said.
“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.
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