Stephen Bannon, the former aide to President Donald Trump who was dismissed in August, is reportedly considering a defamation lawsuit against the president for calling into question his mental acuity. CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos said on Thursday that he has it “on pretty good authority that he's considering that." The president has threatened to sue Bannon over remarks attributed to the latter that appear in a controversial book “Fire and Fury.” The feud between the president and the political activist has consumed media attention for nearly a week. On Sunday, Bannon appeared to seek comity with the Chief Executive, apologizing for the remarks and saying that the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., is “both a patriot and a good man.”
According to “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff, Bannon suggested that Trump Jr. was “treasonous” for a meeting he conducted with Russians seeking favors during the 2016 presidential campaign.
As for standing by the president, Bannon told Axios, “My support is also unwavering for the President and his agenda — as I have shown daily in my national radio broadcasts, on the pages of Breitbart News and in speeches and appearances from Tokyo and Hong Kong to Arizona and Alabama.”
Speaking to Axios, Bannon said of Trump Jr., “He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around.” Currently, Bannon is a chief executive at Breitbart News -- a position that is now reportedly in doubt. “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,” he said. However, Bannon did not deny making the comments attributed to him. He blamed the tenor of his remarks on his experience as a naval intelligence officer during the Cold War.
The 64-year-old Bannon claimed that his comments were taken out of context. Bannon said that his pique was actually directed at his predecessor as Trump’s campaign chief. He described Manafort as a “a seasoned campaign professional” knowledgeable of Russian operations. “He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends,” Bannon said. “To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.”
Nevertheless, author Wolff says Bannon claimed that prosecutors investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia would “crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
Several White House and campaign officials have become dismissive of Bannon’s influence. President Trump, for example, disavowed Bannon, calling him “Sloppy Steve.” Former Breitbart News supporter, billionaire Rebekah Mercer, has sided with Trump and dropped Bannon.