President Trump’s most vocal opponents are suddenly enamored with Steve Bannon. The former White House Chief Strategist is at the center of a controversy brewing over a tell-all book that is critical of Trump’s cabinet. The President, though, has issued a legal challenge and is trying to prevent the publication of the book.
“Thursday morning’s letter from California attorney Charles J. Harder, known for representing pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, puts ‘Fire and Fury’ – columnist Michael Wolff’s book about the Trump White House – under an even sharper magnifying glass,” The Daily Mail writes.
The letter instructs Henry Holt and Co., the book’s publishers, to “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book.” This cease and desist would include releasing any more excerpts or summaries.
“Your publication of false/baseless statements about Mr. Trump gives rise to, among other claims, defamation by libel per se, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with contractual relations, and inducement of breach of contract,” Harder wrote.
Wolff’s book is set to be released on January 9 and has faced scrutiny from many for its sensational claim, but most of the press has concerned the role Bannon plays in the text. Bannon reportedly called the Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives,a meeting attended by Jared Kushner, “treasonous,” something that prompted an immediate rebuttal from President Trump.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,’ the statement said. ‘When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”
Harder has also accused Bannon of breaching a confidentiality agreement. Legal action, Harder says, is “imminent.”
“You have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company,” Harder wrote to Bannon.
“Steve doesn’t represent my base – he’s only in it for himself,” Trump said in his Wednesday 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 continued. “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.”