Under fire, Bannon backs off explosive comments about Trump's son

Leigh Mccormick
January 8, 2018

"If they were stronger, hopefully, you would not have something like that happen", he said.

"My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate. He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends", he said.

He added that his comments about the Russian Federation meeting were directed towards former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also attended the meeting along with Trump Jr. and Kushner.

"My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda", Bannon said in Sunday's statement.

Bannon did not specifically dispute the quotes, but said his criticism was meant for Manafort, who is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. "That's the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end ... this presidency".

President Donald Trump steps off Marine One on the South Lawn as he arrives at the White House in Washington Sunday Jan. 7 2018 after traveling from Camp David Md

He added that there was "zero" chance Trump Jr. "I support President Trump and the platform upon which he was elected". I have always been - and remain - ready and willing to stand in the breech for this presidency and the administration's effort to make America great again.

Bannon explained in his statement that his averse reaction to the meeting stemmed from his experience in the Navy, explaining that he was "stationed aboard a destroyer whose main mission was to hunt Soviet submarines to my time at the Pentagon during the Reagan years, when our focus was the defeat of 'the evil empire'".

He then said Wolff "doesn't know me at all" and did not interview him for the book, as Wolff has claimed.

He called the FBI's Russian Federation investigation "ridiculous" and a "witch hunt", and said there was no collusion.

Bannon concluded the statement, which was first published by Axios, by expressing regret for diverting attention away from the nuances of the President's accomplishment.

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