Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who last week made headlines for making a slew of negative comments against President Donald Trump and his inner circle, has radically changed his tune as wealthy backers and conservatives hastened to distance themselves from his brand.
Bannon released a statement on Sunday that sought to undo the damage from his previous statements, which in part saw him blast Donald Jr. as “unpatriotic” and “treasonous” for his meeting with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.
“Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man,” he said. “He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around.”
The Breitbart News executive chair also reaffirmed his support for the Make America Great Again agenda and for the man at the helm of its implementation.
“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,” Bannon said. “President Trump was the only candidate that could have taken on and defeated the Clinton apparatus.”
While much of his statement skewed apologetic, Bannon managed some of the self-aggrandizement for which he is known.
“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 breach of the president’s efforts to make America great again,” he declared.
As for the most inflammatory of his anti-Trump comments, Bannon painted them as a knee-jerk reaction borne of his “life experiences as a Naval officer” fighting against “’the evil empire’” that was Russia in the Reagan era. He also suggested that they were partially taken out of context.
“My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate,” he explained. “He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.”