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Trump: Bannon has lost his mind

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Sometimes, when the stars align, there is a righteous moment in politics.  Such a moment has just occurred when two of the most despicable men in US politics have fallen out. Let us hope that Trump soon follows Bannon into a dark hole of oblivion from which they can never return. 

 

 

In the book [“Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolff], Mr. Bannon was quoted suggesting that Donald Trump Jr., the future president’s son; Jared Kushner, his son-in-law; and Paul J. Manafort, then the campaign chairman, had been “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for meeting with Russians offering incriminating information on Hillary Clinton during a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower.

 

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers,” Mr. Bannon said after The New York Times revealed the meeting in July 2017, according to Mr. Wolff’s book.

 

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the F.B.I. immediately,” Mr. Bannon continued, according to the book.

 

According to Mr. Wolff, Mr. Bannon also predicted that a special counsel investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any coordination with Trump aides would ultimately center on money laundering, an assessment that could lend credibility to an investigation the president has repeatedly called a witch hunt. “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Mr. Bannon was quoted as saying.

 

....President Trump essentially excommunicated his onetime chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, from his political circle on Wednesday, excoriating him as a self-promoting exaggerator who had “very little to do with our historic victory” and has now “lost his mind.”

 

In a written statement brimming with anger and resentment, Mr. Trump fired back at Mr. Bannon, who had made caustic comments about the president and his family to the author of a new book about the Trump White House. While Mr. Bannon had remained in touch with Mr. Trump even after being pushed out of the White House last summer, the two now appear to have reached a breaking point.

 

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Mr. Trump said in the statement. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

 

Mr. Trump berated Mr. Bannon for the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama and said the former adviser did not represent his base but was “only in it for himself.” Rather than supporting the president’s agenda to “make America great again,” Mr. Bannon was “simply seeking to burn it all down,” Mr. Trump said.

 

“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,” he added. “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.”

 

 

Trump Breaks With Bannon, Saying He Has ‘Lost His Mind’

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/us/politics/trump-bannon.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

 

Ex-aide Bannon has lost his mind - Trump

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42560520

 

Donald Trump Didn’t Want to Be President

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html

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This book is going to be a nightmare for the Trump White House. Trump's lawyers have already sought an injunction against Bannon to prohibit him from making critical remarks about the president or his family in view of an agreement signed during the campaign. Unfortunately, it is not just Steve Bannon who is dishing the dirt on Trump.

 

On page 304 the following quotation: "For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, he [Trump] was an 'idiot.' For Gary Cohn, he was 'dumb as s***.' For H.R. McMaster he was a 'dope.' The list went on."

 

No, it's not the usual comments you hear about the president from people who are in his Cabinet or work closely with him.

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A new Trump attorney, (how many does he have?) Charles J Harder, who has been called Hollywood's favorite lawyer, has sent a letter to the author and publisher of ...

 

_99468797_fireandfury.png

 

demanding that the book's publication, officially set for next Tuesday, be halted pending libel charges. Hmmm...that must mean that there is a lot of truth in there. LOL

 

 

Wolff said Trump was aware of the project and allowed others to participate. An excerpt of the book, published online in New York magazine, said the author conducted more than 200 interviews “over a period of 18 months with the president, most members of his senior staff, and many people to whom they in turn spoke.”

 

... Wolff’s book paints Trump as a buffoon who doesn’t read, can’t settle on political priorities and is unable to manage a warring cast of advisers who spend their days squabbling and undermining each other and the president.

 

In one scene, Katie Walsh, formerly a deputy chief of staff, is quoted as saying that dealing with Trump is “like trying to figure out what a child wants”; Walsh disputed that account Wednesday to an Axios reporter.

 

In another book scene, Sam Nunberg, a former campaign aide who was ultimately fired, describes trying to explain the Constitution to the president. “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment,” the book quotes Nunberg as saying, “before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”

 

But, at least in the excerpts that have emerged so far, Bannon emerges as the most scathing critic of Trump and his family. Wolff portrays him as a master puppeteer, manipulating the president for his own political purposes.

 

Bannon is quoted describing a Trump Tower meeting during the campaign between Donald Trump Jr.; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” At another point in the book, he is quoted calling the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump “dumb as a brick.”

 

Wolff also depicts Bannon as harboring his own 2020 presidential ambitions.

 

The president and his team were already infuriated two weeks ago by a profile in Vanity Fair in which Bannon attacked a number of senior Trump advisers and seemed to mock the president. Trump had wanted to attack Bannon then, people familiar with the strategy said.

 

Trump lawyer seeks to block insider book on White House

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-slams-bannon-when-he-was-fired-he-not-only-lost-his-job-he-lost-his-mind/2018/01/03/21fb158a-f0aa-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_bannon-1137pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.6bfe69a3a761

 

It's too late. There are already copies in the public domain and if this effort to suppress freedom of the press succeeds, we can fall back on the old samizdat methods of the Soviet era and crank up the copiers to pass it around underground. Yes, I am being facetious.

 

Filing a libel suit is the most dangerous act Trump could pursue. He might force staffers to testify in court under oath that they actually did call him and a fool, semiliterate, etc. He might have to testify in court himself UNDER OATH about incidents that demonstrate that he is a fool and semiliterate, etc.. He would be an idiot to put himself in that position. But...well...some of us don't need a book or a libel suit to convince us of that.

 

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Who is Michael Wolff and is he telling the truth? There is reason to believe that he makes some stuff up. But not all of it, and not most of it.

 

 

Trump isn’t exactly disputing Wolff’s reporting, nor has Bannon backed down from them.

 

...Wolff, for example, writes that Thomas Barrack Jr., a billionaire friend of Trump’s, told a friend that Trump is “not only crazy, he’s stupid.” Barrack on Wednesday denied to a New York Times reporter that he ever said such a thing.

 

Katie Walsh, a former White House adviser, has also disputed a comment attributed to her by Wolff, that dealing with Trump was “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

 

...His reliability has been challenged before — over quotes, descriptions and general accounts he’s provided in his many newspaper and magazine columns and in several books. Wolff has even acknowledged that he can be unreliable: As he recounted in “Burn Rate” — his best-selling book about his time as an early Internet entrepreneur — Wolff kept his bankers at bay by fabricating a story about his father-in-law having open-heart surgery.

 

...In a 2004 cover story for the New Republic, Michelle Cottle wrote that Wolff had become the “It Boy” of New York media after winning two National Magazine Awards for his commentary: “His quick wit, dizzying writing style, and willingness to say absolutely anything about anybody made his column a must-read,” she wrote.

 

But she added, “Much to the annoyance of Wolff’s critics, the scenes in his columns aren’t recreated so much as created — springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events. Even Wolff acknowledges that conventional reporting isn’t his bag.” An editor who worked with Wolff told Cottle, “He is adroit at making the reader think that he has spent hours and days with his subject, when in fact he may have spent no time at all.”

Michael Wolff tells a juicy tale in his new Trump book. But should we believe it?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/michael-wolff-tells-a-juicy-tale-in-his-new-trump-book-but-should-we-believe-it/2018/01/03/d46f31c6-f0b2-11e7-97bf-bba379b809ab_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_wolff609pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.f53e5af81023

 

 

So, some of what he says is true, some of what he says appears to be true because it is consistent with the facts, but it is fabricated. A libel trial is exactly what we need to sort the one from the other. Please, please, Donald, be a chump, sue the bad man for libel.

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In his mind, this country and all of us are a part of his reality TV show. He is an entertainer and we are mere participants.

 

 

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Eleven takeaways from the book courtesy of the BBC. The full article has commentary from a correspondent and some context, but these gems are too good not to post.

 

1. Bannon thought Don Jr meeting 'treasonous'

"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor - with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers. Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s***, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately."

 

2. Trump 'befuddled' by his victory

"Shortly after 8pm on Election Night, when the unexpected trend - Trump might actually win - seemed confirmed, Don Jr told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears - and not of joy. There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon's not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States."

 

3. Trump 'angry' at inauguration

"Trump did not enjoy his own inauguration. He was angry that A-level stars had snubbed the event, disgruntled with the accommodations at Blair House, and visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears. Throughout the day, he wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed."

 

4. Trump loved 'pursuing' friends' wives

Mr Trump used to boast that sleeping with his friends' wives made "life worth living".

 

"In pursuing a friend's wife, he would try to persuade the wife that her husband was perhaps not what she thought," Wolff quotes a Trump friend as saying.

 

He would invite the wife to secretly listen on speakerphone to a conversation that Mr Trump would have in his office with her husband, according to the book.

 

Mr Trump would allegedly engage in sexual banter with the husband in the hope that he might say something indiscreet, asking questions such as: "Do you still like having sex with your wife? How often?"

 

5. Trump found White House 'scary'

"Trump, in fact, found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary. He retreated to his own bedroom - the first time since the Kennedy White House that a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room."

 

6. Ivanka hopes to be president

"Balancing risk against reward, both Jared and Ivanka decided to accept roles in the West Wing over the advice of almost everyone they knew. It was a joint decision by the couple, and, in some sense, a joint job. Between themselves, the two had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she'd be the one to run for president. The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump. Bannon, who had coined the term 'Jarvanka' that was now in ever greater use in the White House, was horrified when the couple's deal was reported to him."

 

7. Ivanka mocks dad's 'comb-over'

"She treated her father with a degree of detachment, even irony, going so far as to make fun of his comb-over to others. She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate - a contained island after scalp-reduction -surgery - surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men - the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump's orange-blond hair color."

 

8. White House unsure of priorities

"'Just give me the three things the president wants to focus on,' she [Katie Walsh] demanded. 'What are the three priorities of this White House?' It was the most basic question imaginable - one that any qualified presidential candidate would have answered long before he took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Six weeks into Trump's presidency, Kushner was wholly without an answer. 'Yes,' he said to Walsh. 'We should probably have that conversation.'"

 

9. Trump's admiration for Murdoch

"Rupert Murdoch, who had promised to pay a call on the president-elect, was running late. When some of the guests made a move to leave, an increasingly agitated Trump assured them that Rupert was on his way. 'He's one of the greats, the last of the greats,' Trump said. 'You have to stay to see him.' Not grasping that he was now the most powerful man in the world, Trump was still trying mightily to curry favor with a media mogul who had long disdained him as a charlatan and fool."

 

10. Murdoch calls Trump 'idiot'

"'These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favorable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them.' 'Donald,' said Murdoch, 'for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don't need your help.'

 

'Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas.'Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America's doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, 'We'll figure it out.' 'What a f****** idiot,' said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone."

 

11. Flynn knew Russia ties 'a problem'

Wolff writes that before the election Mr Flynn "had been told by friends that it had not been a good idea to take $45,000 from the Russians for a speech. 'Well it would only be a problem if we won,' he assured them."

 

Trump Bannon row: 11 explosive claims from new book

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42559436

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I missed it. Had to work.

 

Fill me in on what was said on the 60 minutes story? Which I'm sure will be tweeted out as "fake news".

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This book mirrors exactly the kind of tabloid world Trump has lived in his adult life. It is karma that the most effective dismantling of his presidency is not a dispassionate analysis of his incapacity and ineptitude--of which there have been many--but the kind of over-the-top expose Trump himself relishes. It's so Breitbartian, so Newsmaxy. He should be so proud that he has brought the nation down to his trashy level.

 

BTW, according to the author, the the book is being rushed to booksellers for sale tomorrow (Friday) rather than Tuesday given the fabulous publicity it has received from Trump and the White House.

 

Michael Wolff

@MichaelWolffNYC

Here we go. You can buy it (and read it) tomorrow. Thank you, Mr. President.

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This reads like a vindictive guy who gets drunk at the bar after being fired and is bad-mouthing his former boss.

 

 

Only the guy doing the reporting never worked for Trump (the boss) and many of the people doing the bad-mouthing still work for the said boss, or profess to believe he is a "great man," or profess to be his friend.

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Michael Wolff's interview on Today, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.

 

 

 

 

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Another tell-all book from a Fox News host tells the same story that Fire and Fury told. Howard Kurtz has published a book that describes the same dysfunction, confusion, ignorance, back-stabbing and publicity-seeking revealed in the earlier book. Face it folks, Trump is not competent to be president.

 

Another bombshell book on palace intrigue inside the Trump White House will be published by the end of the month. This time it is the turn of Fox News host Howard Kurtz to dish on the personal battles and the gossip reverberating around the West Wing. The book, entitled Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth, comes fresh on the heels of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. According to excerpts detailed in The Washington Post, Kurtz presents a portrait of a chaotic West Wing, filled with leaks, amid a daily struggle by aides to respond to the president’s tweets. The former Daily Beast columnist also claims that many in the White House suspect the president himself and his daughter Ivanka have been the source of notable leaks to the press. He says aides call Trump's behavior “Defiance Disorder,” a reference to his inability to follow the advice of his advisers.

 

Book: Bannon Told Ivanka, ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Doing’

https://www.thedailybeast.com/book-bannon-told-ivanka-you-dont-know-what-youre-doing?ref=hom

 

 

 

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Another tell-all book from a Fox News host tells the same story that Fire and Fury told. Howard Kurtz has published a book that describes the same dysfunction, confusion, ignorance, back-stabbing and publicity-seeking revealed in the earlier book. Face it folks, Trump is not competent to be president.

 

Another bombshell book on palace intrigue inside the Trump White House will be published by the end of the month. This time it is the turn of Fox News host Howard Kurtz to dish on the personal battles and the gossip reverberating around the West Wing. The book, entitled Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth, comes fresh on the heels of Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. According to excerpts detailed in The Washington Post, Kurtz presents a portrait of a chaotic West Wing, filled with leaks, amid a daily struggle by aides to respond to the president’s tweets. The former Daily Beast columnist also claims that many in the White House suspect the president himself and his daughter Ivanka have been the source of notable leaks to the press. He says aides call Trump's behavior “Defiance Disorder,” a reference to his inability to follow the advice of his advisers.

 

Book: Bannon Told Ivanka, ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Doing’

https://www.thedailybeast.com/book-bannon-told-ivanka-you-dont-know-what-youre-doing?ref=hom

 

I do not doubt any of it.  I think Kelly has done one heck of a job at stopping a lot of the leaks, which were coming from inside the White House.  And it was no secret that Bannon and Javanka absolutely hated each other.  In the end, blood is thicker than water. 

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I finished reading Fire and Fury to some perplexity. Dysfunction in the White House is more profound than it appears. The hype for the book has resulted in all the more salacious comments making it to the press already, so they posed no distraction in what turned out to be a depiction of the long running battle between Bannon and Jarvanka for control of the president--which, in any case, is an impossible task. The character sketches are more deeply drawn and developed over the course of the book, but there are no surprises there either. It is entirely personality driven. Policy matters have no place anywhere in the president's calculus, even though Bannon continually talks about his coming agenda--viewing himself as the president's successor. LOL. I will give Bannon credit for developing a strategy to deal with the Mueller investigation (follow the Bill Clinton plan to compartmentalize and isolate the legal team while following a disciplined focus on policy). Unfortunately, Trump was totally incapable of carrying it out and Bannon was turned down by 9 high quality legal firms before settling for one that bailed when cut out of the botched statement for Don, Jr. written on Air Force One by Trump, Jarvanka, and aides. The subsequent team led by Ty Cobb has talked a good game of cooperation with the investigation and attempted to control Trump's constant explosions by lying to him that the investigation is almost over. It's unlikely Trump believes that at this point which would explain the stepped up connivance with Congressional Republicans and the right wing propaganda machine led by Fox--re: #Memo.

 

Wolff ends his book with the arrival of Kelley as the Chief of Staff and the departure of Bannon. That should come as no surprise either, since Kelley has cast a pall of discipline over access to the president and the West Wing. Trump has evaded it somewhat by arriving in the Oval Office at 11:00 AM and leaving at 3:00 PM on most days, tweeting at will, and calling anyone and everyone in the evenings.

 

I look forward to David Frum's deeper analysis, Trumpocracy, that examines the implications of Trump's violation of traditional norms of behavior that respect the rule of law, diplomatic alliances, the exercise of international power, and the separation of personal financial gain from US policy interests. Frum is an old neocon and traditional Republican--a speechwriter for George W. Bush--who is one among a group of conservatives who are the most incisive critics of the president. 

 

 

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