Political News

White House spokesman: Bannon produced 'zero' results

Posted January 4, 2018 7:22 p.m. EST

— The White House continued Thursday to downplay the role of former Trump campaign executive and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon following the publication of portions of a book quoting him saying unflattering things about President Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said that despite Bannon's high-profile positions, the Breitbart chief was not able to accomplish anything in government.

"Obviously, over the course of Mr. Bannon's time in the White House, you've seen the results that he produced, which was zero," Gidley said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

Published adapted excerpts of the book by journalist Michael Wolff say Bannon called the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer purportedly offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton "treasonous," among other statements the book attributes to him as denigrating the President and his eldest son.

CNN has not independently verified all the details in Wolff's book.

Since the publication of excerpts, Trump's team has disavowed Bannon and the book itself. The President said in a statement that Bannon had "lost his mind."

Gidley said the public appearances of the two together and Bannon's leading positions with Trump did not necessarily mean Bannon was a "Svengali" for the campaign, or the solitary person Trump worked with on his agenda.

"It wasn't like that the President was sitting alone with Steve Bannon plotting and deciding how to move forward," Gidley said. "Obviously Steve Bannon was on the campaign. Obviously he was in the White House, but he wasn't on the ballot."