Former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon on Sunday expressed “regret” for unflattering comments attributed to him in the recently released Trump White House tell-all “Fire and Fury,” saying he should have responded sooner and that he continues to support the president.
“My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda,” Bannon said in a statement to Axios.
Fox News later Sunday confirmed the statements with Bannon.
The statements in the book attributed to Bannon, who joined the Trump presidential campaign in the closing months, were most critical of the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., who also was a part of the campaign.
“Donald Trump Jr. is both a patriot and a good man,” Bannon also said in the statement. “He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around.”
He also said: “I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr. has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency.”
Bannon infuriated Trump with comments he made to author Michael Wolff describing a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
Trump has, since the book was officially published Friday, repeatedly called Bannon “Sloppy Steve” and said he cried when the president fired him last year from his White House strategist job.
But Bannon, in the statement, says his description of the meeting was aimed at former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, not Trump’s son.
Fox News’ Serafin Gomez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.