Steve Bannon has confessed to some of the largest aspects of the Trump-Russia election rigging conspiracy, even going so far as to refer to it as “treasonous.” It’s still unclear why Bannon is doing this. Perhaps he’s desperate for attention. Perhaps he’s trying to protect himself by selling everyone else out. In any case, Trump and his team have quickly put out a statement about Bannon. It’s angry, it’s bizarre, and it’s explosive.
Trump’s statement, sent to the media by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, starts off with this doozy: “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.” That’s a false claim, as Bannon was Trump’s White House Chief Strategist for more than half the time that Trump has been in office. The statement then continues: “Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates.” This is also patently false, as Bannon was unofficially running the Trump campaign from the start, before becoming the CEO of the campaign, and at no point was he a “staffer.” It gets stranger.
The statement goes on: “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well.” This part may actually be true. It continues: “Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence.” This part is a blatant lie, of course.
The statement from Donald Trump concludes by accusing Steve Bannon of “simply seeking to burn it all down.” This is pretty much accurate – but in this instance, Bannon probably does have the evidence to burn Trump down. He also just effectively volunteered to be subpoenaed by Robert Mueller, which means he must have something to back up these assertions, or he wouldn’t be putting himself in legal jeopardy for no reason.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report