Rush Limbaugh lashes out at Bannon: 'I never understood half of the president’s staffing'

  • Rush Limbaugh, the far-right conservative commentator and radio host, derided former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, calling him a leaker and a creation of wealthy GOP donors. 
  • Limbaugh also suggested that the president does not do enough to vet the advisers he surrounds himself with. 
  • "I never heard of Steve Bannon," Limbaugh said on Thursday. "Steve Bannon is where he is because somebody gave him the money to run Breitbart." 

Rush Limbaugh, the far-right conservative commentator and radio host, derided Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's former chief strategist and the chairman of right-wing website Breitbart News, during his Thursday show. 

Limbaugh, a longtime Trump ally, described Bannon, whose relationship with Trump publicly imploded this week after he was extensively quoted deriding the president and his family in "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," a new book by journalist Michael Wolff, as a creation of wealthy Republican donors.

He argued that Bannon betrayed the president by leaking the information to the media and suggested that Robert Mercer, a billionaire Republican donor, and his daughter, Rebekah, are to blame for Bannon's placement in Trump's inner circle. 

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Radio show host Rush Limbaugh speaks at a forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation, on the similarities between the war on terrorism and the television show "24," in Washington June 23, 2006. REUTERS/Micah Walter (UNITED STATES)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 09: Rudy Guiliani, Marvin Shanken, Rickie Fowler and Rush Limbaugh during the Ernie Els Els for Autism pro-am at the Old Palm CC on March 9, 2015 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh is seen in this police booking mug shot taken on April 28, 2006. Limbaugh turned himself in to police in Florida on Friday and was charged with prescription drug fraud as part of a probe that began more than two years ago, authorities said. Limbaugh was released on $3,000 bail after being held for about one hour at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY REUTERS/Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office/Handout
PALM BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Kate Rogers and Rush Limbaugh attend the Andrea Bocelli concert at The Mar-a-Lago Club on February 28, 2010 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Lucien Capehart/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 18: Radio talk show host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh looks on from the sideline before a National Football League game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 18, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 13-10. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
- FEBRUARY 1: (L-R) Rush Limbaugh, Hulk Hogan and Nick Hogan attend Haute Living and Rolls Royce Superbowl Party Benefinting Bay Point Schools at Private Residence on February 1, 2007. (Photo by Tom Grizzle/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 10: Rush Limbaugh plays during the Els for Autism Pro-am at The PGA National Golf Club on March 10, 2014 in Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 6: Radio talk show host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh acknowledges cheers from fans as he stands on the sideline before a National Football League game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on November 6, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 23-20. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 27: Two of the judges in the 2010 Miss America Pageant, saxophonist Dave Koz (L) and radio talk show host and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, speak during a news conference for the judges at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 27, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pageant will be held at the resort on January 30, 2010. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NOVI, MI - MAY 3: Radio talk show host and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh speaks at 'An Evenining With Rush Limbaugh' event May 3, 2007 in Novi, Michigan. The event was sponsored by WJR radio station as part of their 85th birthday celebration festivities. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
THE JAY LENO SHOW -- Air Date 09/24/2009 -- Episode 9 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political talk show host Rush Limbaugh, host Jay Leno outside by the Jay Leno Show racetrack on September 24, 2009 -- Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank
LOS ANGELES - JULY 6, 2005: Rush Limbaugh poses for a Portrait on July 6th, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 27: Four of the judges in the 2010 Miss America Pageant (L-R) singer/songwriter Brooke White, gymnast Shawn Johnson, radio talk show host and conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and Miss America 2002 Katie Harman pose after a news conference for the judges at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino January 27, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pageant will be held at the resort on January 30, 2010. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh takes a break and smokes a cigar during his radio show. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Rush Limbaugh points to the audience during his television show. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Talk show host Rush Limbaugh prepares for his program at KSEV radio station in Houston. Limbaugh is known for his controversial conservative politics. (Photo by � Shepard Sherbell/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images)
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"I never heard of Steve Bannon," Limbaugh said on Thursday, adding, "Steve Bannon is where he is because somebody gave him the money to run Breitbart, the Mercer family, and I never heard of them. I never heard of any of these people until after the Trump campaign began."

Limbaugh argued that Trump brought Bannon onto his campaign team in 2016 as part of a deal with the Mercers, who donated millions to his campaign.

"The Mercers gave Trump $5 million. The Mercers wanted Bannon inside Trump. Trump said, okay, fine, make him strategist," Limbaugh said. "I don't know if Trump ever even met Bannon before this campaign began."

Limbaugh also suggested that the president does not do enough to vet the advisers he surrounds himself with. 

"I never understood half of the president's staffing," he said. "I never understood how he knew these people and ended up choosing them."

Limbaugh went on to echo the Trump family's claims that Bannon prioritizes media attention over the president's interests. 

"The thing that I think everybody believes and that everybody knows is that most of the leaking that was coming out of the Trump White House was Steve Bannon. Over half of it," Limbaugh said. "I have that on almost unassailable authority."

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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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