Today’s big news that Steve Bannon told writer Michael Wolff that Don Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner committed “treasonous” acts has solicited an immediate retort from the White House.
In a statement released under Donald Trump’s name, the failing president tore into Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist who played an outsized role in Trump’s campaign and heavily influenced his strategy once in the White House:
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.
Statement from Trump: "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." pic.twitter.com/FwlAncsrV1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 3, 2018
Ever-insecure, Trump needs his supposed triumphs constantly validated. His former chief strategist publicly endorsing the idea that Trump’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager committed treason – essentially implying that his election victory was somewhere south of legitimate – has evidentially struck a nerve in the thin-skinned Trump, who also remarked that Bannon is “learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.”
This new rift on the far-right could pit Bannon’s Breitbart against the Trump Administration, potentially sinking Trump’s numbers among the only demographic that stood by him as he stumbled through his first, scandal-ridden year in office.