Report: Sloppy Steve Was JUST ABOUT to Dispute Those Quotes...

According to a report from the Hill, Breitbart News Chairman “Sloppy Steve” Bannon was totally on the verge yesterday of issuing a statement disputing those quotes about President Donald J. Trump and his family. And then Trump issued that nuclear statement and ruined everything, don’t you know:


Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon on Wednesday was about to issue a statement praising Donald Trump Jr. and disputing his quotes in a book from Michael Wolff, but the statement was spiked after President Trump went nuclear on his former chief strategist.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation say that Bannon’s aides sought to impress upon him the need to put out a statement quickly. The aides had crafted a statement, which was pending Bannon’s approval, when the White House beat him to the punch.

In the unreleased statement, Bannon had planned to call Trump Jr. a patriot and dispute the account in Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” in which Bannon described Trump Jr. as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for setting up a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.

Bannon and his allies did not see a need to release the statement once Trump accused his former top campaign aide of having “lost his mind.” They believe the president’s statement effectively ended the relationship between the two men.

“He was literally just about to respond but backed off when the White House issued the statement,” said one source.

Bannon had a lengthy window to respond after the book excerpt was first released early Wednesday morning. It was a missed opportunity for Bannon, as the statement might have been enough to salvage his relationship with the president, those close to the Breitbart News chairman say.

I’m not sure what to make of this. Initially I thought it had the air of a sort of reproach of Trump: Everything would have been fine if you hadn’t issued that statement, man! Re-reading it, it sounds as though it’s more of a reproach of Bannon. We tried to get this guy to say it was all B.S. but it took him too long!


Let’s look at some of the contextual factors in play.

First: Breitbart published a series of articles yesterday about the Bannon comments that failed to dispute the accuracy of the quotes. In one notable instance, they linked to the widely disseminated story that author Michael Wolff has “dozens of hours” of recordings to back up the quotes — including tapes of Bannon. Most people, me included, took these pieces as proof that Bannon had said what was attributed to him — in particular given the notable lack of pushback. After all, has considerable access to one Stephen K. Bannon. If he wanted to dispute those claims, he could have provided a quote to that effect in any of those articles — with a “we’re preparing a statement” tail to buy more time.

But he didn’t.

It’s anybody’s guess as to why he had such difficulty putting out a statement disputing the Wolff quotes. Notable among the possible reasons: the distinct chance that the quotes were accurate. If you flat-out deny the quotes, you run the risk of embarrassment and even legal liability if and when tapes emerge that show you were lying, and that you did in fact say those things. That potentially complicates matters. Plus, the questions start coming: What part of what you said is true and what part isn’t? Did you say this bad thing about Trump? What about this one? It helps keep the story alive.

Second: Any way you slice it, may be looking at a YUUUUGE financial hit if they are seen as anti-Trump. They rode the wave of Trump popularity to an outsized tsunami of traffic, and that means revenues. But what the mob of Trumpalos giveth, the mob of Trumpalos can taketh away — and the top folks at Breitbart know this. So they have every incentive to portray the quotes as nonsense. Just one problem: Bannon wasn’t playing. (See point number one.) So instead of disputing the quotes openly, which (as noted) could lead to legal liability, embarrassment, and prolonging the controversy, they put out a story about how he was this close to disputing them when the Trump statement came down.


Ultimately, my guess is that if they want to remain financially viable, they’re going to have to ditch the guy. Sooner rather than later.

Sloppy Steve is gonna have to go. I’d be surprised if he lasts the day.



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