The minute any new revelation about the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian government operatives goes public, the president, along with his administrative officials and his rabid fan base, goes into overdrive to discredit the speaker. Even those who were once formerly praised, such as Steve Bannon, are now “crazy” and have no credibility.
— BeeNewsDaily (@BeeNewsDaily) January 4, 2018
Trump’s third and final campaign manager, Steve Bannon, was quoted in a new book by Michael Wolff as saying that the infamous meeting between Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, with Russian government operatives in June of 2016 was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” Immediately, Bannon went from being the political genius behind Trump’s successful campaign to an idiot who has “lost his mind” and not an important part of anything in the White House or during the elections.
Of course, no one took more criticism on Wednesday than the author of the new Fire and Fury: Inside Trump’s White House. Despite having been given access to the White House on numerous occasions following Trump’s election, the right now chooses to say that he doesn’t really know anything, isn’t credible, and is reporting more “fake news.”
Unfortunately for President Trump, his administration, and his supporters, Axios is reporting that Wolff has tapes, audio recordings of people like Steve Bannon, as they admitted to him that they fear Trump is mentally unstable and won the election using dubious methods. Some of the initial criticism of Wolff’s new book fell apart quickly upon further investigation, but the audio tapes will make those criticisms even more difficult to explain away.
According to Axios:
‘Although the White House yesterday portrayed Wolff as a poseur, he spent hours at a time in private areas of the West Wing, including the office of Reince Priebus when he was chief of staff. The White House says Wolff was cleared for access to the West Wing fewer than 20 times [however] Wolff, a New Yorker, stayed at the Hay Adams Hotel when he came down to D.C., and White House sources frequently crossed Lafayette Park to meet him there.’
While the White House scrambles to convince voters that both Wolff and Bannon are liars who have made up all of the stories in the new book, they also sent Bannon a “cease and desist” letter, saying that he violated a non-disclosure agreement with his comments to Wolff. Just as Trump once said the Russian collusion stories were both “illegal leaks” as well as “fake news,” those two things are mutually exclusive. If Bannon said things that were not true, the White House would be suing him for libel. If he breached a non-disclosure agreement, then he said things that were true, but legally shouldn’t have.
Source: i never said any such thing to #Wolff
W: i have you on tape
S: i thought i was off the record
W: is that like "we were on a break"? pic.twitter.com/XZSryFk5X5
— Jared 'Very Legal & Very Cool' Kushner (@PrezKushner) January 4, 2018
One thing the White House cannot do this time is insist that everything in Wolff’s book was made up and that no one ever said the things he’s quoted. There are tapes. They also cannot insist that Wolff didn’t actually know anyone inside or anything about the inner workings of the White House. There are tapes.
They also cannot complain that these are all anonymous sources, which instantly in their minds discredits everything anyone said because this time, there are tapes.
Featured image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla