Trump likes to call for companies to fire their employees if they say negative things about him. The White House called for Jamelle Hill of ESPN to be fired as well after she called Trump a “white supremacist,” and Trump called for all professional football players who kneel in protest of the disproportionate police brutality perpetrated against black Americans to be fired by the NFL.
Now, the White House is calling for Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to be fired from Breitbart. Trump praised the white nationalist-leaning publication during his presidential campaign and hired its former executive chairman to be his campaign CEO. The two parted ways when Bannon left the White House to return to his former company and Trump praised the move.
Now the “bromance” is officially over after author Michael Wolff revealed in his book Fire and Fury: Inside Trump’s White House that Bannon called Donald Trump, Jr.’s infamous June 2016 with Russian government operatives “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” When the news of those quotes broke, Trump was furious and, just as he has with every other former campaign official he no longer likes, downplayed heavily his role in the campaign as well as the White House.
‘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 17 candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.’
Trump’s anger was also apparent in a White House statement on Thursday calling for Bannon to be fired from Breitbart, a call that is rumored to be answered to appease the president. The Wall Street Journal reports that a meeting between board members was held on Thursday to decide the former Breitbart executive officer’s fate.
‘President Donald Trump’s growing feud with Steve Bannon is threatening the former White House strategist’s leadership of the conservative Breitbart News website and upending Mr. Bannon’s plans to wage “war” on party incumbents he deemed insufficiently loyal to the White House agenda.’
Bannon did his best on Wednesday to walk back his statements to Michael Wolff, none of which can be denied since Wolff made audio recordings of them. Speaking on Breitbart News Tonight, his radio show on SiriusXM, Bannon said:
‘The President of the United States is a great man. You know, I support him day in and day out…nothing will ever come between us and President Trump and his agenda, we’re tight on this agenda as we’ve ever been.’
"Why was Steve Bannon an important person? … Who brought him into the White House on a level equal to the Chief of Staff?" – @BillKristol on Trump's judgment in putting Steve Bannon in positions of influence: pic.twitter.com/JRW6o7zDYI
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) January 5, 2018
Trump seemed to gloat after Bannon was forced to try to publicly downplay his earlier comments, telling reporters:
‘I don’t know, he called me a great man last night, so he obviously changed his tune pretty quick.’
Trump’s lawyers issued a cease and desist order to Bannon following the comments and attempted to prevent Wolff’s book from being published. The publishers thumbed their noses at Trump and decided to release it four days earlier in response.
Here we go. You can buy it (and read it) tomorrow. Thank you, Mr. President.
— Michael Wolff (@MichaelWolffNYC) January 4, 2018
Featured image via Getty/Alex Wong