Former chief White House strategist Steve Bannon may have slammed Donald Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey as one of the worst mistakes in “modern political history,” but the president appears satisfied with how the Breitbart executive chairman repped his administration during Sunday’s interview on “60 Minutes.”
“[Trump] thought that it was an articulate and forceful defense of him, as well as a very strong and very intelligent positioning of some of the core issues of the administration,” a person familiar with Trump’s thinking told the Washington Post.
Immediately after his sit-down with CBS’ Charlie Rose, an aide for Bannon reportedly texted interim White House Communications Director Hope Hicks to wax poetic about the interview, insisting Bannon provided an “epic” defense of the president and his administration.
In his first TV appearance since leaving the White House, Bannon criticized the president’s decision to fire Comey, and warned the Trump’s party hasn’t “lanced the boil” necessary to bridge the GOP’s ruling class and anti-establishment Republicans. But, despite Bannon’s tough-love approach, the president has reportedly told aides he was impressed by Bannon’s defense of his administration.
“Steve went into one of the most high-profile venues possible, ‘60 Minutes,’ and defended the president’s agenda and campaign pledges, and he also then gave insight into how the president is being undermined by Republican leadership,” former Trump adviser Sam Nurnberg told the Post. “It seemed to be courageous.”
Despite the low-key praise for Bannon, Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday seemed to distance the administration from the CBS interview.
“I think that Steve always likes to speak in, kind of, the most extreme measures,” Sanders told reporters.