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The Trump-Bannon War of Words

Excerpts from journalist Michael Wolff's upcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, were released on Wednesday. The text included quotations attributed to former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who was ousted by President Donald Trump over the summer. Trump responded harshly through a press release, saying that Bannon was fired and that he is only in it for himself.

President Trump & Stephen K. Bannon

Bannon purportedly said that the Mueller investigation was probing money laundering, that Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer in 2016 constituted treason, that Jared Kushner had shady financial dealings, and that Ivanka Trump was the "queen of leaks."

Wolff has a long history of poor sourcing, and Brill's Content review of Burn Rate acknowledged "apparent factual errors" in the book. Bannon, who currently serves as the executive chairman of Breitbart News, has yet to confirm or deny the quotes assigned to him by Wolff.

Bannon's previous statements on Trump camp connections with Russia contradict the purported quotes. During an interview on November 17, 2017, Bannon said, "There's nothing to the Russia investigation. It's a waste of time."

Despite the lack of input from Bannon, the president responded harshly to his former employee through a White House statement. Among other things, Trump stated that Bannon was fired, had "lost his mind," was responsible for the Roy Moore defeat in Alabama, looks out only for himself, is friendly to the media despite harsh words for them, and never possessed any real White House influence.

Bannon has been dubbed as a white nationalist, and he was at the center of White House feuds over the course of his short tenure in the administration. Bannon was panned by critics due to his role in unleashing the controversial "Muslim ban" executive order, which caused confusion at international airports across the U.S.

Vanity Fair recently published a piece that proposed Bannon as a potential presidential candidate in the future. Are these jabs his attempt at launching a brutal 2020 primary season?