Speed Reads

Frenemies

After public blow-up, Trump touts that Bannon 'changed his tune,' called him 'a great man'

President Trump spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since his eventful Wednesday, which saw him issue one of the more notable White House statements in recent memory.

Excerpts from a forthcoming tell-all book published Wednesday revealed some incendiary comments made by Trump's former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, including his characterization of the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between top campaign aides and a Russian official as "treasonous." The White House subsequently issued a formal statement from Trump ripping Bannon, with the president claiming that "when [Bannon] was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."

But late Wednesday night — after Trump's lawyer insisted that "legal action" against Bannon was "imminent" — the Breitbart chairman was asked about his comments on his radio show. "The president of the United States is a great man," Bannon replied. "You know I support him day in and day out."

By Thursday, then, Trump's rage had apparently softened. Asked by a reporter whether Bannon "betrayed" him, Trump said: "I don't know. He called me a great man last night, so, you know, he obviously changed his tune pretty quick." He additionally insisted that it is a "misnomer" that he is in contact with Bannon, denying they communicate at all. Watch his remarks below. Kimberly Alters