Ari Fleischer said that President Trump took a "2x4 to the head of Steve Bannon" with his fiery response to criticism from his former chief strategist.
Bannon, quoted in a new book chronicling the Trump White House, called out the Trump team for a "treasonous" meeting with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign.
Trump responded in a statement Wednesday, saying Bannon "lost his mind."
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. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.
Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.
Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.
We have many great Republican members of Congress and candidates who are very supportive of the Make America Great Again agenda. Like me, they love the United States of America and are helping to finally take our country back and build it up, rather than simply seeking to burn it all down.
"I have never in my life seen a reaction like this," Fleischer said on "The Daily Briefing" on Wednesday. "Donald Trump just blistered Steve Bannon."
Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary for former President George W. Bush, said he expects Bannon to deny that he made the comments, which were released as an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff.
"Bannon then is going to say Michael Wolff made it up. Then it's going to go to Wolff, and Wolff is going to have to show a tape recording or proof of it. That's where this is going to go. But boy, it sure is juicy," Fleischer said.
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