Trump versus Bannon escalates

Ex Trump campaigner and White House aid Steve Bannon has stirred things up with revelations in a book, and Trump via his lawyers has hit back with a cease and desist letter.

BBC: 10 explosive revelations from new Trump book

Donald Trump was “befuddled” by his election win, did not enjoy his inauguration and was scared of the White House, according to a new book.

Journalist Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House also purports to lift the lid on Ivanka Trump’s secret presidential ambitions.


1. Bannon thought Don Jr meeting ‘treasonous’

According to the book, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon thought a meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a group of Russians was “treasonous”.

Bannon reportedly said the Justice Department investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Moscow would focus on money laundering, adding: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

2. Trump ‘befuddled’ by his victory

In an article for NYMag adapted from his book, Wolff describes the amazement – and dismay – in the Trump camp at his November 2016 election win.

“Shortly after 8pm on Election Night, when the unexpected trend – Trump might actually win – seemed confirmed, Don Jr told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears – and not of joy. There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.”

3. Trump ‘angry’ at inauguration

Wolff writes:

“Trump did not enjoy his own inauguration. He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event, disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House, and visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears. Throughout the day, he wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed.”

But the first lady’s office rejected the claims.

Communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement: “Mrs Trump supported her husband’s decision to run for President and in fact, encouraged him to do so. She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did.”

4. Trump found White House ‘scary’

Wolff writes:

“Trump, in fact, found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary. He retreated to his own bedroom – the first time since the Kennedy White House that a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room.”

5. Ivanka hopes to be president

Mr Trump’s daughter and her husband Jared Kushner allegedly struck a deal that she might run for president in future, according to Wolff:

“Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew. It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she’d be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump. Bannon, who had coined the term ‘Jarvanka’ that was now in ever greater use in the White House, was horrified when the couple’s deal was reported to him.”

6. Ivanka mocks dad’s ‘comb-over’

The US first daughter poked fun at her father’s alleged “scalp-reduction surgery”, according to the book.

“She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others.”

7. White House unsure of priorities

Katie Walsh, the White House deputy chief of staff, asked Mr Kushner, the president’s senior adviser, what the administration wanted to achieve.

But according to the book, Mr Kushner did not have an answer.

“‘Just give me the three things the president wants to focus on,’ she [Katie Walsh] demanded. ‘What are the three priorities of this White House?’ It was the most basic question imaginable – one that any qualified presidential candidate would have answered long before he took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Six weeks into Trump’s presidency, Kushner was wholly without an answer. ‘Yes,’ he said to Walsh. ‘We should probably have that conversation.'”

8. Trump’s admiration for Murdoch

Wolff, who previously wrote a biography of Rupert Murdoch, describes Mr Trump’s high regard for the News Corp media titan.

“Rupert Murdoch, who had promised to pay a call on the president-elect, was running late. When some of the guests made a move to leave, an increasingly agitated Trump assured them that Rupert was on his way. ‘He’s one of the greats, the last of the greats,’ Trump said. ‘You have to stay to see him.’ Not grasping that he was now the most powerful man in the world, Trump was still trying mightily to curry favor with a media mogul who had long disdained him as a charlatan and fool.”

9. Murdoch calls Trump ‘idiot’

But the admiration was not mutual, according to Wolff’s account of a call between Mr Murdoch and Mr Trump about the president’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives.

Mr Trump is said to have told Mr Murdoch:

“‘These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them.’ ‘Donald,’ said Murdoch, ‘for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don’t need your help.’

‘Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas.’Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America’s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, ‘We’ll figure it out.’ ‘What a f****** idiot,’ said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone.”

10. Flynn knew Russia ties ‘a problem’

Former US National Security Adviser Mike Flynn knew that accepting money from Moscow for a speech could come back to haunt him, according to the book.

Wolff writes that before the election Mr Flynn “had been told by friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. ‘Well it would only be a problem if we won,’ he assured them.”


That mostly seems quite lame, but people supposedly on Trump’s side calling him and idiot and saying actions of his son were treasonous aren’t a great look.

Trump’s reaction via his lawyer suggests he wasn’t very pleased – and guarantees maximum exposure.

ABC News: Trump attorney sends Bannon cease and desist letter over ‘disparaging’ comments

That sounds a tad ironic given Trump’s history of disparaging comments, but his lawyers claim a breach of confidentiality agreement.

Lawyers on behalf of President Donald Trump sent a letter Wednesday night to former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon demanding he refrain from making disparaging comments against the president and his family.

Trump attorney Charles Harder said in a statement, “This law firm represents President Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. 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. Legal action is imminent.”

In the letter to Bannon, Harder, writes, “You [Bannon] have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company [the campaign], 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.”

In the letter, Trump’s attorney says that “remedies for your breach of the agreement include but are not limited to monetary damages” though no dollar amount is disclosed.

During the campaign, then-candidate Trump had all campaign staff sign a non-disclosure agreement which required all staff, according to campaign sources, to refrain from any disparaging comments against the candidate, his family or the Trump campaign and organization.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump hit back at Bannon in scathing comments, saying that when Bannon was fired “he not only lost his job, he lost his mind”.

So it seems that Trump only has a double standard about disparaging comments.  Perhaps he didn’t sign a confidentiality agreement.

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party,” the president said in a statement.

“Often described as the most talented field ever assembled” – good grief. Next thing he will claim to have defeated the strongest Democrat candidate ever.

“Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base — he’s only in it for himself.”

More irony. This could get uglier.

11 Comments

  1. Mrs Trump’s office gave a non-answer. It was very obvious that Trump was angry about something and he appeared to be taking it out on his wife-as when he barged on up the steps of the White House, ignoring her as he did when he turned and smiled past her, leaving her looking wretched.

  2. Griff

     /  January 4, 2018

    Cue trumps supporters.
    .
    .
    .
    Trump is da man.Best president ever .
    Fake news.
    Bannon is a rino, cuck, sell out,libtard plant, A nobody in the campaign etc,etc,etc.

    Last but not lest when all else fails.
    What about Hillery and the Democrats……?

    • Conspiratoor

       /  January 4, 2018

      So amongst the claims and counter claims here’s what we do know…

      Donald fired Steve. In my experience when folks are handed the DCM they tend to take it rather badly
      Steve is writing a book. No doubt he is hoping it sells well. In the words of his former boss’s own best seller ‘The Art of the Deal’ …’Controversy Sells’

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  January 5, 2018

      Something like this, Griff?

      There were no meetings with Russians during the campaign. Fake news.

      Oh, you mean the meeting at Trump Tower? Between Russian operatives and the senior campaign leadership? That was only to speak about adoptions.

      Oh, you found Don Jr’s emails about the meeting in which he responded to the possibility of getting Russian help with dirt on Clinton by saying “I love it!” Well, nothing happened at the meeting, which is why they left it off of all their security clearance disclosures.

      Oh, Steve Bannon is now calling the meeting treasonous? Well, Steve Bannon is a Rino and a cuckservative. So there. Fake news

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 4, 2018

    Daddy’s girl is about to join the paid employees at the White House. Nepotism is alive and well.

    • patupaiarehe

       /  January 4, 2018

    • patupaiarehe

       /  January 4, 2018

      You should be a bit nicer about ‘daddys girl’ , Kitty. She is a very attractive woman. Which means a lot, in our brave new world….

  4. Panel discussion on Bannon v Trump on Fox: ‘Special Report’ Panel: Steve Bannon Goes Rogue

  5. Steve Schmidt: Apparent To Everybody That Trump Is Unfit For Office, “They Say It Privately In The Bars”

    STEVE SCHMIDT: The year has been every day a debasement of the office of president of the U.S. by this president and his staff. With the constancy of the lying, the misinformation, the nonsense that is spooned out to the American people.

    But what we see in this book, and I think it is fine to argue over the details, did Tom Barrack really said that or this, we’ll figure that out… but certainly, the larger issue is that it paints a portrait of dysfunction and chaos and that just beggars the imagination.
    These people work in proximity to an office where life and death decisions are made, and the portrait that is painted in this book… We know this is a president who is inventing conspiracies and attacking the intelligence community and the justice department, with his ‘Deep State’ talk, or whether it is attacking the spirit of the First Amendment, or blustering about nuclear weapons, what we see increasingly is a president who is under pressure. Out of his depth, ignorant, unprepared, and fundamentally unfit for the office.

    This is apparent to everyone. It is apparent to the members of Congress, but they don’t say it publicly. They say it to journalists. They say it privately in the bars. But his dangerous unfitness, I think is something that out of this book and these other actions are increasingly going to become part of the political narrative in 2018.

    Though it is uncomfortable, it is increasingly clear that the question of this president’s manifest unfitness for this office is no longer something that we can avoid discussing for the sake of politeness.

  6. Could well be by design.