President Trump talks to Stephen K. Bannon, right, and Jared Kushner during a swearing-in ceremony for senior staff members at the White House in Washington on Jan. 22, 2017. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
President Trump spoke publicly Thursday about his nasty feud with former senior aide Stephen K. Bannon, noting that the Breitbart News executive had praised him on a radio show a night earlier.
“He called me a ‘great man’ last night,” Trump told reporters at the White House, ahead of a meeting with Republican senators on immigration. “He obviously changed his tune pretty quick.”
Bannon delivered the compliment Wednesday evening on “Breitbart News Tonight,” which is broadcast on Sirius XM Radio, during which he also emphasized that he supports Trump “day in and day out.” His remarks appeared to be an effort to ratchet down tensions with the president in the wake of a new book in which Bannon was sharply critical of some Trump aides and family members.
Trump had lashed out at Bannon earlier Wednesday, saying his former campaign chairman had “lost his mind” and accusing him of leaking sensitive White House information. Among other things, Bannon called a Trump Tower meeting between Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer “treasonous.”
Trump aides also criticized the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolff, calling it fiction. The president’s personal lawyers served cease-and-desist letters to Wolff and his publisher in an effort to stop release of the tell-all.
In his remarks at the White House, Trump insisted that he no longer communicates with Bannon, who left the White House under pressure in August. Last month, Bannon said in a television interview that he regularly spoke with Trump.
“I don’t talk to him. That’s just a misnomer,” Trump said.
Asked by reporters for her opinion of the book as she entered the Capitol on Thursday, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump smiled, laughed at first and said, “I think the president has made his point of view very clear and that the White House agrees with him.”
She walked away without taking other questions.
Ed O’Keefe contributed to this report.