Steve Bannon, having not only burned a bridge to the White House but blown it to smithereens with dynamite, attempted to repair some of the damage on Sunday with a written apology to President Donald Trump and his supporters. In the apology, first published by the website Axios, Bannon insisted that author Michael Wolff had not faithfully transcribed his comments and that he harbored no ill will towards Donald Trump Jr.
“Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man,” Bannon said. “He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around. 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.”
As a million headlines across the internet conveyed last week, Bannon was quoted in the book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House as saying that Don Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort were unwise to meet with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower, going as far as to label their actions “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” The remarks went off like a bomb in the White House, and even the comment section at Breitbart began to turn against the man behind the scenes of the MAGA movement. Portrayed as the Svengali pulling the strings in the Oval Office as recently as last spring, Bannon suddenly found himself on the outside of his own populist army.
“My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate,” Bannon clarified in his statement this weekend. “He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.”
While Bannon went on to insist that he still believed there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, some inside the White House apparently believe that the apology will do little to thaw the frozen ground between the conservative strategist and the president.
“It did nothing to quell Trump’s rage at his former chief strategist or the anger of Bannon’s former West Wing colleagues, according to multiple administration officials, who said the vibe in the president’s circle was that people were unmoved by the statement,” reports Politico. “Asked whether there is anything Bannon can do at this point to get back in the president’s good graces, one White House official said curtly, ‘Unlikely.’”
At a time when we need to be united in force behind Trump’s agenda, this has created an unfortunate schism in the base. From the looks of it, most people are siding with the president, but we’re sure that some will maintain allegiance to Bannon, depending on where he goes and how he comports himself from this point forward. Hopefully, this can all blow over, but Trump is probably not going to forget this betrayal and Bannon will not soon be invited back into the circle of trust.