White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that Breitbart News should consider removing its executive chairman, Steve Bannon, after the former chief strategist to Donald Trump reportedly made critical comments about the president and his 2016 campaign.
Lawyers for Trump sent a "cease and desist" letter to Bannon on Wednesday after early excerpts of a forthcoming book on the White House revealed the former top aide had opined that a June 2016 meeting with Russian operatives arranged by the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” Trump's legal team said Bannon broke a confidentiality agreement by making disparaging remarks about the Trump family to the news media.
Pressed at Thursday's briefing on whether the remarks should prompt Breitbart and Bannon to go their separate ways, Sanders said the site ought to examine it.
"I certainly think that it's something they should look at and consider," Sanders said.
Bannon's remarks, set to be published in a book by author Michael Wolff next Tuesday, prompted a personal rebuke from the president, who said in a statement that after the chief strategist left the West Wing he "not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
At Thursday's press briefing Sanders dismissed many of the allegations made in the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which cites over 200 interviews with sources in and out of the West Wing, as "complete fantasy" and "tabloid gossip."
But even as the White House ramped up its attacks on Bannon, the former aide voiced support for the commander in chief.
"The president of the United States is a great man," Bannon said Wednesday while hosting Breitbart News Tonight on SiriusXM radio. Bannon added on Thursday morning's broadcast that "nothing will ever come between us and President Trump and his agenda."