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Bannon Was Reportedly Minutes Away From Blasting Wolff Before Trump Attacked Him

A man holds a copy of the book 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House' by Michael Wolff after buying it at a bookstore in Washington, DC on January 5, 2018.
A man holds a copy of the book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff after buying it at a bookstore in Washington, D.C. on January 5, 2018.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty Images

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was just about to attack Michael Wolff for his book Fire and Fury when he decided to put a hold on the plans after President Donald Trump went all out in his criticism of his former staffer, reports CNN. Shortly after the first excerpts of the book were released in which Bannon was quoted as saying that Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” the former chief strategist planned to call the book “another lefty hatchet job.” But then Trump released his own statement saying Bannon had “lost his mind” and the former aide went back on his plans.

“As I said during my interview with 60 Minutes and many times since, there is no basis to the Russian investigation. It’s a political witch hunt orchestrated by the left,” Bannon’s statement was allegedly going to say, according to CNN’s source. “Don Jr., like his father, is a great American and a patriot. And we all know Don Jr. did not knowingly meet with Russian agents. Paul Manafort is an independent actor who clearly put his own interests ahead of the campaign and all involved. Michael Wolff took my remarks about Don Jr. out of context to sell his book. Sadly, this is yet another lefty hatchet job intended to disrespect our President and his supporters.”

CNN is not the first to report that Bannon was getting ready to criticize Wolff’s book before Trump decided to insult his former aide. “He was literally just about to respond but backed off when the White House issued the statement,” a source “close to Bannon” told the Hill earlier in the week.

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday he was troubled by Bannon’s failure to issue a denial on the statements that Wolff attributes to him. But that denial is unlikely to come any time soon considering that Trump is evidently not second-guessing his decision to go all-out on his criticism of Bannon. In a tweet late Friday night, Trump said Wolff—“a total loser who made up stories”—ended up using “Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job.”

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