Under fire, Bannon backs off explosive comments about Trump's son

Kelley Robertson
January 8, 2018

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon says he regrets explosive comments he made about Donald Trump Jr. and a 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and several Russian nationals, walking back his assertion in a new book that the meeting was "treasonous". Now cut off from political and financial supporters, the alt-right media firebrand called the Trump scion a "patriot" and said he regretted that his delay in responding to "inaccurate reporting" had diverted attention from the president's first-year accomplishments.

In the book, Bannon voiced astonishment over the meeting that Trump Jr, the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Manafort attended at Trump Tower in NY with a Russian lawyer, who was said to be offering damaging information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate.

So he is easy pickings for someone like Michael Wolff, author of "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", which paints a terrible picture of Trump as an undisciplined, tempestuous, incompetent president.

"(And then) ran for president one time and won, and then I hear this guy that does not know me, does not know me at all. "I guess "Sloppy Steve" [Bannon] brought him into the White House quite a bit", Trump said. "If they were stronger, hopefully, you would not have something like that happen", he said.

"To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.", Bannon said.

President Donald Trump is a self-described "counterpuncher". Bannon said Manafort was "a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate".

Bannon praised Trump on Sunday, saying he was the only candidate who was capable of defeating "the Clinton apparatus", referring to Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

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