The Latest: White House sees ‘no way back’ for Bannon
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” (all times local):
A White House spokesman says there’s no “way back” for Steve Bannon after his comments in an explosive new book that questions President Donald Trump’s fitness for office.
Hogan Gidley says he doesn’t “believe there’s any way back for Mr. Bannon at this point.” He adds that Trump’s criticism of Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury” still stands, saying, “it was obvious that the book was false and fake.”
Gidley spoke to reporters Monday aboard Air Force One as Trump traveled to Nashville, Tennessee.
Bannon — Trump’s former chief strategist — is trying to make amends for comments that appeared in the book. He issued a statement praising the president’s eldest son Sunday, and says he regrets not having released it sooner.
An attorney for the publisher of “Fire and Fury” says no retraction or apology is coming.
President Donald Trump and his supporters have called the book fiction, and Trump attorney Charles J. Harder last week sent a cease-and-desist letter to Henry Holt & Company, threatening legal action.
In a response to Harder that was shared with The Associated Press, Elizabeth A. McNamara of the firm David Wright Tremaine writes that the book is “an accurate report” and says Harder failed to cite any specific errors.
McNamara writes that former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, whose explosive quotes helped make the book a best-seller, spoke “freely and voluntarily” to author Michael Wolff.
McNamara also writes that should Trump sue, the author and publisher are “quite confident” that Trump political and financial documents would prove “particularly relevant” for the defense.
The publisher of Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” isn’t backing down.
In a letter sent to company employees Monday and shared with The Associated Press, Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote that any efforts by President Donald Trump to suppress the book are “flagrantly unconstitutional.”
Macmillan is the parent organization of Henry Holt and Company, which released the best-selling account of a chaotic administration that features inflammatory quotes from former senior adviser Steve Bannon.
The White House has dismissed the book as a work of fiction, and a Trump lawyer last week sent a cease-and-desist letter to the publisher, demanding that “Fire and Fury” be withheld. Holt responded by moving up the publication date from Jan. 9 to last Friday.
The author of a new book about the White House is contradicting Steve Bannon’s explanation of comments that angered President Donald Trump.
Michael Wolff appeared Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
In the book, Bannon described a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., senior campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” Bannon, who is Trump’s former chief strategist, sought to make amends Sunday, saying in statement that his description was aimed at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, not Trump’s son.
Wolff says the comments were “directed directly at Don. Jr.”
The book depicts the 45th president as a leader who doesn’t understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides. Trump has blasted the book as inaccurate.
Trump administration officials and allies are rallying to the president’s defense, trying to contain the fallout from an explosive new book that questions Trump’s fitness for office.
Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” portrays the 45th president as a leader who doesn’t understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides.
Chief policy adviser Stephen Miller says the picture “is so contrary to reality” and calls the book “trash.”
Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is also trying to make amends for comments that appeared in the book. He issued a statement praising the president’s eldest son, and says he regrets not having released it sooner.