President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as having “lost his mind” in the fallout over damaging comments Bannon made about Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. in excerpts from a new book, Reuters reported.
Trump, who had continued to speak privately with Bannon after firing him in August, essentially cut ties with Bannon at least for now in a blistering statement issued after Bannon’s comments came to light.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump had relied heavily on Bannon, chairman of the right-wing Breitbart News website, for advice in the months leading up to his upset victory in the November 2016 election.
Bannon helped Trump shape a populist, anti-establishment message and has been the president’s link to his conservative base of support. It was not clear if the split would push Bannon to be even more aggressive in his campaign against the Republican establishment and whether he now would also target Trump, or whether he would emerge much weaker.