The feud between President Trump and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon is escalating amid the publication of a new tell-all book in which Bannon accuses Donald Trump Jr. of “treason” and predicts Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation will find evidence of money laundering. President Trump is trying frantically to stop the publication of the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” written by journalist Michael Wolff. Trump’s lawyers have sent cease and desist letters to Bannon, author Michael Wolff and publisher Henry Holt, trying to stop the book’s publication and distribution. But amid the media firestorm, publisher Henry Holt has moved up the book’s publication date to today. It had been slated to be published on Tuesday. The book has already reached number one on the Amazon best-seller list. In the book, Bannon portrays his former boss as wholly unprepared for the presidency. He accuses Donald Trump Jr. of “treason” over a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Russian officials. The book says a spokesperson for President Trump’s legal team quit after Trump dictated a misleading statement while aboard Air Force One about his son’s meeting. The former Trump spokesperson, Mark Corallo, told author Michael Wolff he feared the Air Force One meeting represented obstruction of justice. In the book, Bannon also says special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is about money laundering. Bannon is quoted talking about Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s real estate empire, saying, “It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner s**. The Kushner s** is greasy. They’re going to go right through that.” Bannon is also quoted as saying, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV”—also in reference to money laundering. Earlier this week, the publication of excerpts of the book caused Trump to attack Bannon, saying he’d lost his mind. Meanwhile, Bannon himself is losing key allies, including billionaire backer Rebekah Mercer, who issued a statement Thursday saying, “I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected. My family and I have not communicated with Steve Bannon in many months and have provided no financial support to his political agenda, nor do we support his recent actions and statements.” On Thursday, President Trump responded to questions from reporters about Steve Bannon.
President Donald Trump: “I don’t know. He called me a great man last night, so, you know, he obviously changed his tune pretty quick. All right, thank you all very much. Thank you. I don’t talk to him. I don’t talk to him. I don’t talk to him. That’s just a misnomer. Thank you.”