White House senior adviser Stephen Miller bashed former mentor Steve Bannon on Sunday while maintaining President Trump as a “political genius.”
The policy aide’s remarks come amid backlash from author Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” in which Bannon trashed fellow members of the President’s inner circle.
“It’s tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality, and obviously so vindictive,” Miller said Sunday in an oftentimes tense interview that was eventually cut short by host Jake Tapper.
Those statements include calling Donald Trump Jr. “unpatriotic” for taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer, and saying Jared Kushner’s family real estate business would come under federal scrutiny.
“The book is best understood as a work of very poorly written fiction,” Miller said on “State of the Union.” “And I also will say that the author is a garbage author of a garbage book.”
But Miller on Sunday doubled down on the White House line that Bannon had little to do with Trump’s presidency. The former Goldman Sachs banker led the campaign in its final months, and went on to become White House chief strategist.
Miller also downplayed Bannon’s role in the President’s controversial travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries.
Tapper ended the interview after the pair got into a heated argument, cutting each other off and launching personal attacks.
Miller insisted Trump was a “political genius” and a “self-made billionaire.”
Miller took several shots at CNN’s credibility when asked policy questions, while Tapper implied Miller wasn’t trying to speak to the American people — only to Trump.
The commander-in-chief appeared to be tuned in, too.
“Jake Tapper of Fake News CNN just got destroyed in his interview with Stephen Miller of the Trump Administration. Watch the hatred and unfairness of this CNN flunky!” Trump tweeted roughly an hour after Tapper shut down the discussion.
Wolff, who made several West Wing visits during Trump’s first year in office, interviewed scores of people close to Trump.
Since his book garnered media attention, Wolff has speculated those close to Trump don’t believe he’s mentally fit to be President.
Trump denied those charges in a string of furious tweets Saturday, calling himself a “stable genius.”
Miller maintained that Trump was the mastermind of the campaign without Bannon’s help.
Trump has slammed the book, whose author has suggested he’s not mentally capable of being President.
“The reality is that the President is a political genius who won against a field of 17 incredibly talented people, who took down the Bush dynasty, who took down the Clinton dynasty,” he said.
He also called Trump a “self-made billionaire,” although the President has admitted he made his first real estate investment with a $ 1 million loan from his landlord father, but reports indicate the amount could’ve been higher.
The New York Times reported last week that Miller helped craft an early draft of the President’s letter to fire then-FBI Director James Comey in early May.
The letter, which special counsel Robert Mueller’s team now has, noted in the first sentence that his ongoing Russian collusion probe is “fabricated and politically motivated.”
Asked about the draft missive on Sunday, a fiery Miller noted the final version stated up high that Comey’s abrupt firing had nothing to do with the Russia investigation.
“It was a disclaimer,” he said. “It appeared in the final version of the letter that was made public.”
Trump, in a May interview with NBC News after Comey’s firing, signaled he was upset about the Russia probe.
And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”