Former White House strategist Steve Bannon once called President Donald Trump‘s daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump “dumb as a brick”, according to the latest excerpt from a book that claims to provide a near-inside view of the tumult within the West Wing during the first year of Mr Trump’s presidency.
Mr Bannon’s quote is detailed in an excerpt provided to the Wall Street Journal. The book has been met critically by some who point out seeming factual inaccuracies. The White House has also denied many of the allegations.
The former White House advisor, who left the White House to run Breitbart News, didn’t respond to requests for comment from that newspaper, but a source close to him reportedly did not deny the varacity of the insult.
Mr Trump himself attacked Mr Bannon after the excerpts — which included comments from Mr Bannon saying that a previous meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians in Trump Tower was “treasonous” — saying that his former strategist had nothing to do with his campaign, or his time as president.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Mr Trump wrote in a statement distributed by the White House. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
Mr Bannon reportedly had a strained relationship with much of the top White House during the nearly seven months he was there. In addition to the apparent conflict with Ms Trump, Mr Bannon frequently sparred with her husband, Jared Kushner, as well as former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
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The “treasonous” comments in the book’s manuscript revolve around a meeting that has become a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. The meeting was reportedly set up by Donald Trump Jr after he received an email from a Russian-linked source, who promised he could connect him with a Russian-linked lawyer who could deliver dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Mr Bannon indicated that he felt that taking the meeting was ill-advised, and that they would have been wiser to take the meeting in a nondescript location, with lawyers, and that notifying the FBI may have been a smart move.