Lawyers for President Donald Trump demanded that the publisher of a forthcoming book about the White House cease its publication.
The demand was relayed via a letter from the lawyers to Steve Rubin and Michael Wolff, the publisher and author of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The letter became public a day after comments made in the book by Steve Bannon, the president’s former advisor, became public.
“Mr. Trump hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book,” the attorney, Charles J. Harder, wrote in a letter obtained by Fox News.
Harder wrote that the book contains “false/baseless statements” that could be “defamation by libel.” The lawyer also requested to review a copy of the book.
The book is scheduled to release on Jan. 9, but segments became public on Wednesday. In the book, Bannon tells the author that he considered the meeting between senior members of Trump campaign team and a Russian lawyer “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
Trump was outraged by Bannon’s comments and issued a four-paragraph statement saying that Bannon “not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
“Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country,” Trump said in a statement.
“Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was,” Trump added. “It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.”
Bannon joined Trump’s campaign for president in the role of chief executive in August 2016. He was appointed as the president’s senior counselor after the inauguration. Bannon left the White House in August and rejoined Breitbart News.
The book’s author, Wolff, told Hollywood reporter on Thursday that the book came to be after he asked Trump if he could “hang around” the West Wing to work on a book, saying “his non-disapproval became a kind of passport for me to hang around.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Wolff visited the White House about a dozen times and that “close to 95 percent” of the visits were requested by Bannon.
“I think ‘furious,’ ‘disgusted’ would probably certainly fit when you make such outrageous claims and completely false claims against the president, his administration and his family,” Sanders said, according to Fox News.
When Bannon left the White House, he said that he would work on helping Trump by waging a battle from the outside.
Bannon told Sirius XM’s Patriot Channel on Wednesday that he would continue to support the president despite the fallout.
“The president of the United States is a great man,” he said, according to Fox News. “You know I support him day in and day out, whether going through the country giving the Trump miracle speech or on the show or on the website.”
Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday that he heard Bannon’s interview, but added he no longer speaks to him.
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