Trump Vs. Bannon: Why Was the Cease-and-Desist Issued?
Donald Trump has excommunicated Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist and issued a cease-and-desist.
Donald Trump has excommunicated Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist.
The news broke when Trump accused Bannon – who had spoken to Michael Wolff, the Author of the upcoming book ‘Fire and Fury’ – of defamation, in which he described the president as being ‘unprepared for the job’.
In response, Trump said that Bannon had ‘lost his mind’ and that he was ‘only in it for himself’.
The Alleged Wrongdoing
Among other things, the book claims that Bannon thought a meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower was ‘treasonous’ and ‘unpatriotic’.
Trump is also unimpressed over the fact that Bannon allegedly told Mr. Wolff in an interview that The Trump team was shocked and horrified by his election win, that the new president ‘found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary’, and that Ivanka Trump ridiculed her dad’s ‘comb-over’ hairstyle and ‘often described the mechanics behind it to friends’.
On Bannon, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: ‘Steve had the honor of working in the White House & serving the country. Unfortunately, he squandered that privilege & turned that opportunity into a nightmare of backstabbing, harassing, leaking, lying & undermining the President’.
The cease-and-desist letter is five pages long and orders Bannon to retain any letters or emails.
Who is Michael Wolff?
Former columnist for New York magazine and Vanity Fair, Michael Wolff was able to exploit the Trump administration’s lack of political background to gain an unforeseen amount of insight into the team.
However, the legitimacy of his stories has been questioned, with The Washington Post calling him a ‘provocateur and media polemicist’.
Media and news website Axios reported that Wolff recorded the interviews held for the book, featuring former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon and former White House Deputy Chief of staff Katie Walsh.
With these recordings, he intends to back up the quotes he will use in ‘Fire and Fury’.
Defence from Both Sides
In Trump’s defence, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has dismissed the book as ‘trashy tabloid fiction’ that was ‘filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House’.
Conversely, in Bannon’s defence, UK Editor of Breitbart News Raheem Kassam said that Wolff’s interviews could have been taken out of context.
He also said that, as Bannon had served in the US Navy, he was justified to speak on the Russia controversy.
Mr Bannon has not yet spoken publicly about the president’s comments, the book or the legal action taken against him.