Trump attorney threatens 'imminent' legal action against Steve Bannon after disparaging remarks surfaced in new book

  • An attorney for President Donald Trump reportedly sent a letter to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in light of disparaging remarks Bannon was quoted as saying in an upcoming book detailing the inner workings of the White House.
  • The letter alleges Bannon disclosed confidential information and made "outright defamatory statements."
  • The letter also suggested that Trump may seek monetary damages.


Following the release of excerpts from a bombshell new book in which former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was quoted making disparaging remarks toward President Donald Trump and members of his family, Trump's attorneys reportedly sent a letter to Bannon threatening "imminent" legal action Wednesday night.

"On behalf of our clients, legal notice was issued today to Stephen K. Bannon, that his actions of communicating with author Michael Wolff regarding an upcoming book give rise to numerous legal claims including defamation by libel and slander, and breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients," Trump attorney Charles Harder wrote in the letter, cited by ABC News. "Legal action is imminent," it said.

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US President Donald Trump (L) congratulates Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon during the swearing-in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), is joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, as he speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 28, 2017. Jonathan Ernst: "Very early in the Trump administration, weekends were as busy as weekdays. On Trump's second Saturday the official schedule said he would be making private phone calls to a number of world leaders including Russia's Vladimir Putin. I arrived early and, before sitting down at my desk walked up to Press Secretary Sean Spicer's office. He, too, was just taking his coat off. I gingerly made the suggestion that previous administrations had sometimes allowed photos of such phone calls through the Oval Office windows on the colonnade. To my mild shock, he didn't even think about it twice. "We'll do it!" he said. In truth, I really only expected the Putin call, but we were outside the windows multiple times throughout the day as the calls went on."

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to chief strategist Steve Bannon during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 22, 2017.

(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Trump advisers Steve Bannon (L) and Jared Kushner (R) listen as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with members of his Cabinet at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 12, 2017.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump (C) and campaign CEO Steve Bannon (R) listen to National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger Caitlin Kostic (2nd R) on a brief visit to Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. October 22, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. President Donald Trump signs a memorandum to security services directing them to defeat the Islamic State in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. Pictured with him are White House senior advisor Steve Bannon (L-R), National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Vice President Mike Pence, Deputy National Security Advisor K. T. McFarland, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, National Security Council Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Trump advisor Steve Bannon (L) watches as US President Donald Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy and strategy forum with executives in the State Dining Room of the White House February 3, 2017 in Washington, DC.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Senior Advisor Jared Kusher, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and President Donald Trump arrive at the start of a meeting with Senate and House legislators, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers included in the meeting were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA).

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Harder's letter claimed that Bannon, in speaking with author and columnist Michael Wolff, had breached a non-disclosure agreement allegedly signed by Trump campaign staffers. Trump's lawyer accused Bannon of "disclosing confidential information," and "making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements."

Harder also suggested that Trump may seek monetary damages for Bannon's alleged agreement breach, according to ABC News.

The book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," was said to have been sourced from over 200 interviews during an 18-month time span. Based on excerpts of the book, it gives an intimate behind-the-scenes look at Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and the months that followed his inauguration.

Among many other things, the excerpts show that Bannon was quoted describing a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., a Russia-linked lawyer and others as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic." He also called Trump's daughter, Ivanka, "dumb as a brick."

Trump earlier Wednesday issued a fiery statement responding specifically to Bannon's remarks: "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."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also went on the offensive and attempted to delegitimize Wolff's book by calling it "false & misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House."

"Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy," Sanders said.

Bannon's representatives did not immediately respond to comments on the pending legal action Wednesday evening.

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