Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is apologizing for comments made in the new Fire and Fury book by Michael Wolff. Bannon issued a statement to Axios this morning, while also publishing it over at Breitbart. The statement is pretty simple with Bannon issuing a couple mea culpas towards the Trump family, while also apologizing for waiting a few days to even comment on the book.
“Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around.”
“My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda — as I have shown daily in my national radio broadcasts, on the pages of Breitbart News and in speeches and appearances from Tokyo and Hong Kong to Arizona and Alabama.”
“President Trump was the only candidate that could have taken on and defeated the Clinton apparatus. I am the only person to date to conduct a global effort to preach the message of Trump and Trumpism; and remain ready to stand in the breech for this president’s efforts to make America great again.”…
“I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”
It’s interesting Bannon is apologizing, but it’s probably not surprising, After all, Trump loyalists, including the President himself, immediately heaped ridicule on “Sloppy Steve” like he was a pit full of manure when Fire and Fury excerpts started seeping into the media. This includes comments by White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller on CNN Sunday, who said Bannon’s comments were grotesque and, “so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive.” Bannon also saw support from the Mercer family vanish like Predator into the Val Verde jungle, and Axios reported Trump wanted allies to go after Bannon on TV. Then there was the entire “cease and desist,” letter thing.
Bannon is probably hoping to mend some fences with his old allies and readers, plus save his job. White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders opined Breitbart should oust Bannon, and former Breitbart originalists aren’t wasting any slings or arrows on their enmity for Bannon. Talk show host and former Breitbart Editor Dana Loesch told Fox News Bannon had always been a self promoter and was just looking to glom onto anyone who was rising within certain circles, including Andrew Breitbart, Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, and Trump. She also quipped Trump did have a bigger nuclear button than Bannon, which is a pretty funny line, if you think about it. Others told The Daily Caller Bannon was a piece of dung, and Matt Drudge suggested Bannon was schizophrenic.
So will this apology work? Who knows. Trump hasn’t commented on the apology yet, but it’s curious if he’ll privately tell people to keep stamping down on Bannon or let up.
The other big question is why did Bannon wait a few days to even comment? He probably didn’t expect the backlash he got, especially if he’s been on record on a regular basis to praising Trump, including a month before Fire and Fury was scheduled to be released, where he told Vanity Fair’s Peter Hamby he still talked to Trump. Maybe he was hoping Trump would think the entire book was fake, including his comments, with the latter not being the truth. It’s also interesting Trump and Bannon do agree on his role in the White House as not being as influential as the media made it out to be. Trump called Bannon pretty much just another staffer on Twitter, and Bannon told Vanity Fair he had “influence,” but didn’t have power. That’s a really interesting statement.
Those of us who enjoy a good conspiracy theory will probably think this entire Trump-Bannon kerfuffle is ginned up drama, and a complete working of the American media and Trump’s opponents. Of course, Bannon didn’t dispute the alleged comments he made on Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, so who freaking knows. Fire and Fury always seemed more gossip than actual truth, a lot like Edward Klein’s books on Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Of course, if the feud is legit, then Trump just “won” because Bannon blinked first.
It just depends on which version of the truth you believe.