(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

Steve Bannon: Trump is "a great man." I still support him "day in and day out"

After a messy breakup, Bannon reaffirmed his support for Trump, even after being hit with a cease-and-desist letter


Charlie May
January 4, 2018 1:35PM (UTC)

The surprising rift between President Donald Trump and his longtime ally, former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, may prove to be more one-sided than initially thought. Bannon reaffirmed his support for the president on Wednesday night, calling him "a great man" and saying that he still supports Trump "day in and day out."

The comments from the Breitbart News head came after Trump's unprecedented press statement, in which he said Bannon had "lost his mind." Nonetheless, he continued to express support for his former boss, but did not deny having made any of his heavily critical comments.

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"The president is a great man," Bannon said on "Breitbart News Tonight," a radio program on Sirius XM, according to The Washington Post. "You know I support him day in and day out."

Those were Bannon's only comments. Bannon has not addressed the topic in any other way so far.

But the feelings do not appear mutual, and the meaningless war of words may have burned a bridge between the two for good. At least it seems that way for Trump, who unleashed on Bannon in both a lengthy barrage of insults and later with a cease-and-desist letter.

"Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency," Trump said Wednesday. "When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."

The feud began on Wednesday, after excerpts from author Michael Wolff's book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" were published in The Guardian. Bannon purportedly made several comments about the ongoing Russia investigation and said that the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, between top Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer with alleged ties to the Kremlin, was "treasonous."

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On Wednesday night, Trump's lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bannon, which said he could no longer make insulting comments about the president or his family, according to ABC News.

"On behalf of our clients, legal notice was issued today to Stephen K. Bannon, that his actions of communicating with author Michael Wolff regarding an upcoming book give rise to numerous legal claims including defamation by libel and slander, and breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients," the letter said.

It continued, "Legal action is imminent."

The letter also said that Bannon breached an agreement he signed with the Trump Organization "by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the company, disclosing confidential information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the company, knowing that they would be included in Mr. Wolff’s book and publicity surrounding the marketing and sale of his book."

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Wolff's publisher was also hit with threats of legal action.

While it's unclear where things will go between the two from here, it's evident that the president was furious with Bannon's words and was willing to go so far as to downplay his instrumental role in helping Trump win the election. However, Trump does have a history of feuding with some in his inner circle, closing them out and eventually bringing them back in.

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Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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