Continetti: Trump’s ‘Thermonuclear Statement About Bannon’ Shows ‘This Became Personal’

Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Friday that former White House strategist Steve Bannon created a deeply personal rift with his former boss.

Continetti appeared on "Meet the Press Daily" to discuss journalist Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The show's panel analyzed how Donald Trump and his administration could allow such access to Wolff and then react so fiercely, and Continetti said Bannon was a critical factor.

"There's one person we haven't mentioned here and that's Steve Bannon, who I think is integral to all three pieces of these stories," Continetti said. "Not only the back-biting and chaos of the initial administration, not only the writing of this book, for which it's clear he's one of the main sources, but also, thirdly, President Trump's response."

Continetti said Trump’s reaction, which has driven media attention for the book, largely resulted from the way that Trump took it personally. Trump issued a withering statement Wednesday saying that Bannon had "lost his mind" after being fired, and Friday he dubbed him "Sloppy Steve."

"It's clear in President Trump's, again, thermonuclear statement about Bannon that this became personal in a way," Continetti said. "That's, of course, the missing ingredient between how earlier White Houses have dealt with things like this and how the Trump White House has dealt with this."