Trump tries to block release of 'libelous' book

Mr Bannon's reaction to the book controversy has been muted. "Whether going through the country giving the Trump miracle speech or on the show or on the website, so I don't think you have to worry about that", Bannon said.

Trump's press secretary Sarah Sanders hit back.

In the book, Bannon is quoted accusing Trump's eldest son Don Jr of "treasonous" contacts with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, and saying the president's daughter Ivanka is "dumb as a brick".

White House aides were blindsided when early excerpts from "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" were published online by NY magazine and other media outlets ahead of the January 9 publication date.

White House officials described the president as furious at Bannon's criticisms, laid out in an explosive new book that quoted the former aide as questioning Trump's competence and describing a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic". The moves followed the Bannon split but had been considered for some time.

In researching the book, Wolff said he had been able to take up "something like a semi-permanent seat on a couch in the West Wing" following the president's inauguration. "She was confident he would win and was very happy when he did", she said on Wednesday.

Bannon helped Trump shape a populist, anti-establishment message and had been the president's link to his hard-line conservative base of support.

White House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner exits the West Wing of the White House October 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Later Wednesday, Trump attorney Charles Harder threatened legal action against Bannon over "disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements". Bannon believes that they have exposed Trump to the Russian Federation probe that could topple his presidency and that Trump would be able to accomplish more without them. However, there are few absolutes in Trump's orbit, White House aides acknowledge, and he has been known to bury the hatchet with those he perceived to have wronged him.

"Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency".

Bannon publicly backed conservative challengers in Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Mississippi and NY, where House challenger Michael Grimm issued a statement denouncing the ex-adviser's comments as "baseless attacks" that were "beyond disturbing".

White House aides have tried to look past other loaded comments from Bannon in recent months while seeking to marshal his political following on the president's behalf.

On Thursday, Bannon told a caller on Breitbart News radio that "nothing will ever come between us and President Trump and his agenda", according to CNN.

Some Trump allies even encouraged him to welcome Bannon back into his good graces. "He obviously changed his tune pretty quick".

"Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately", he said.

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