Speed Reads

missed opportunities

Bannon just missed his chance at reconciliation, allies claim

Note to Stephen Bannon: Next time you're quoted calling the president's son a traitor, you might want to clarify things a little quicker.

People close to the Breitbart chairman and former White House chief strategist told The Hill on Thursday that he "was literally just about to respond" to bombshell quotes attributed to him in an upcoming tell-all book by Michael Wolff when President Trump beat him to it, fuming in an official statement that Bannon "had lost his mind."

Apparently this scorched-earth rebuke might have been avoided if Bannon had only gotten the chance to say that his quote, in which he called the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., "treasonous" and "unpatriotic," was misinterpreted. Although The Hill's sources claim Bannon is "not worried about [the controversy]," the offending remark earned him widespread condemnation from the right, including from Breitbart minority owner Rebekah Mercer.

Of course, insinuations of treason were not all that Bannon said to Wolff. Bannon also reportedly claimed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election would eventually hone in on money laundering, that the president's daughter, Ivanka, was "as dumb as a brick," and that presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner's "s--t is greasy," among other eye-popping quotes.

On second thought, a quicker apology might not have saved Bannon after all.