What’s being called an apology Steve Bannon walked back many of his statements made to Trump-trashing author Michael Wolff. Bannon did not, however, apologize for trashing President Trump and Trump Jr. to Wolff. Bannon says he regrets waiting so long before making the statements and says Wolff does inaccurate reporting but nowhere does he say they were taken out of context, he was misquoted, or he was offering an apology to the president and his family.
In a statement to Axios, Bannon said:
- “Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around.”
- “President Trump was the only candidate that could have taken on and defeated the Clinton apparatus. I am the only person to date to conduct a global effort to preach the message of Trump and Trumpism; and remain ready to stand in the breech for this president’s efforts to make America great again.”
- “My comments about the meeting with Russian nationals came from my life experiences as a Naval officer stationed aboard a destroyer whose main mission was to hunt Soviet submarines to my time at the Pentagon during the Reagan years when our focus was the defeat of ‘the evil empire’ and to making films about Reagan’s war against the Soviets and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in selling uranium to them.”
- “My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.”
- “Everything I have to say about the ridiculous nature of the Russian ‘collusion’ investigation I said on my 60 Minutes interview. There was no collusion and the investigation is a witch hunt.”
- “I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”
Since Bannon’s comments in the book, he has faced harsh criticism from President Trump’s supporters, his political movement has lost the support of his main funder, the Mercer family whose cash also helps Breitbart.com stay alive. There have also been rumors that Bannon would be forced out of Breitbart which he ran before and after his stint at the White House.
There are reports Bannon was going to issue an apology on Wednesday but stopped the apology when President Trump issued a press release attacking him as losing his mind.
A question raised by Steve Bannon’s statement is why didn’t he apologize? Is he too stubborn to say he’s sorry, or did he make the non-apology statement to save his job and regain the support of the Mercers and the Trump supporters?
Will the words above put Steve Bannon back in the good graces of President Trump? Probably not but it may temper the President’s attacks on his former adviser which feature Trump’s new nickname for Steve Bannon “Sloppy Steve.”