Instead of being out front defending the White House and trying to raise doubts about Michael Wolff's book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" - a book Trump's lawyer tried to get banned - White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has been noticeably absent from the crisis management effort.
Wolff said Monday that despite the pushback, "100%" of those around Trump are concerned about his mental fitness.
Steve Bannon has stepped down as executive chairman of Breitbart News, less than a week after it was revealed that the former White House strategist had made disparaging comments against the Trump campaign and the subsequent administration in a new book. Then on Sunday, Bannon issued a written mea culpa to the news site Axios.
Trump, answering questions from reporters at Camp David after the meeting, called Wolff a "fraud" and said the book is "a complete work of fiction".
Bannon is also quoted in the book saying that the investigators looking into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation were "going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV". It's clear to me that Haberman and the like aren't saving up their chits for just the exact right time to bring this administration down.
"Does this comport with what you already know?"
SHE'S the publicity-shy billionaire who helped turn Donald Trump from novelty candidate into the President of the United States. What was his legacy at Breitbart and with the Trump campaign and then at the White House? If you were an immigration hawk, you thought Trump was the only one who would secure the border.
Inside the White House, Bannon was viewed as the keeper of Trump's nationalistic flame, charting the progress on the president's promises to his base on dry erase boards in his office. But he was talking about Don Jr.
"It was Rebekah Mercer - who had bonded with Bannon, and whose politics were grim, unyielding, and doctrinaire - who defined the family", Wolff writes. I have never spoken to anyone - and it's fascinating to talk to him at this level - who sees many, many steps ahead. But I liked the idea of Bannon. So he looks ascendant. Of course, Roy Moore loses. My question to you is, does he have a few acts left in him? I would put my money on Steve Bannon rather than Donald Trump at this point.
And although Colbert is a daily critic of Trump, and a vicious one at that, he did not fawn over Wolff. But again, it ended at a certain time. "You don't have sourcing, so how much should I believe?"
WOLFF: No - well, would he run?
Numerous bombshells in the book come from quotes by Bannon. What are his mistakes, though? I mean, what tipped this over the edge to his dismissal?
WOLFF: Perhaps or perhaps not.
At times, Conway's fulsome defense of Trump previous year was too much even for some top aides to take, according to Wolff, and she was temporarily taken off the air. Steve Bannon thinks that he is a superstar, the media to their credit built him up as that. He's 64 years old. I think in some ways, he's a manifestation rather than a cause of those divisions. You can get away with it (for) a day.