On his radio broadcast Thursday, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh revealed the culprit behind the leaks that plagued the Trump White House in the months after President Donald Trump took office.
According to Limbaugh, “more than half” of the leaks originated from then-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“The thing that I think everybody believes and that everybody knows,” Limbaugh said, “is that most of the leaking that was coming out of the Trump White House was Steve Bannon.”
The conservative radio host was responding to the intensifying feud between Bannon and President Donald Trump. In a book released Friday by author Michael Wolff, Bannon is quoted as criticizing Trump’s family.
In one instance, he took aim at a June 2016 meeting involving Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer. Bannon reportedly called that meeting “treasonous.”
Bannon, who currently serves as the executive chairman of Breitbart News, joined the Trump campaign in August 2016 as its CEO. After Trump won the election, Bannon was made chief strategist, and served in that capacity until he was ousted from the administration in August 2017.
Limbaugh is not the only one to accuse Bannon of leaking. Just days before the former top aide officially departed the White House, Axios reported that Trump himself believed Bannon was “behind damaging leaks about White House colleagues.”
Limbaugh went on to note that he had “never heard of” Bannon before his involvement with the Trump campaign. He continued going after the former White House strategist, pointing out that he is “all over the place” in regard to his various comments on Trump and his administration.
“Bannon is all over the place,” he said, before referencing a “60 Minutes” interview in which Bannon “was praising Trump to the hilt.”
“And now in this book he’s quoted as saying that Trump and Trump Jr. were committing treason by dealing with the Russians,” Limbaugh said. “I never understood half of the president’s staffing. I never understood how he knew these people and ended up choosing them.”
According to the conservative commentator, Bannon only held influence with Trump because the Mercer family, which donated millions of dollars to the Trump campaign, wanted him to.
“The Mercers gave Trump $5 million,” Limbaugh said of the family, which holds a stake in Breitbart. “The Mercers wanted Bannon inside Trump. Trump said, ‘OK, fine, make him strategist.’ I don’t know if Trump ever even met Bannon before this campaign began.”
For his part, Trump has cut all ties with Bannon, releasing a statement Wednesday in which he condemned his former top adviser.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Trump said. “When he was fired, he 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,” the president added. “Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans.”
“Steve doesn’t represent my base — he’s only in it for himself.”
Trump’s legal team has also sent cease-and-desist letters to both Bannon and Wolff and his publisher.
The president wanted to stop publication of Wolff’s book — “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
In response to the letter, though, the book’s release date was actually moved up to Friday.
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