Donald Trump thinks “that f*cking Steve Bannon” is trying to take credit for his election, BuzzFeed’s Adrian Carrasquillo reports.
In a recent discussion about the book Devil’s Bargain by Joshua Green, the president told a confidant his chief White House counselor claims responsibility for his electoral win last November.
“That fucking Steve Bannon taking credit for my election,” Trump lamented, according to a source who spoke with Carrasquillo.
“The president is not happy with the Joshua Green book,” a source told BuzzFeed. “Every other page is a love letter to Steve Bannon.”
That Trump is privately admonishing Bannon comes as he publicly declined to say whether he has confidence in his top aide.
“He’s saying, ‘I’m going to force you to fire me in a public way or we’re going to follow the agenda we were elected for,'” an ally said.
“I went through 17 senators, governors and I won all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that,” Trump said at a press conference Tuesday when asked about Bannon’s job security. But, he did defend the former Breitbart head as definitely “not a racist.”
“We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon,” Trump said. “He is a good person and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.”
In the days since, Bannon has generated several bizarre headlines, undercutting the White House on North Korea and dismissing white nationalists as a bunch of “clowns.” Rumors have circulated for months that Bannon will be the next official out at the White House, but confidantes told BuzzFeed “he could survive this one.”
“At the end of the day if Bannon is fired, this Republican White House, which is supposed to be nationalist conservative, would be fully staffed by generals, Democrats, Clinton voters and the occasional Bush aide,” a Bannon ally said. “What is this, the Twilight Zone?”