Former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s reported criticism of Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with the Russians is “absolutely ridiculous,” former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said today.
“I didn’t go to that meeting. And so I don’t know all of the details related to the meeting,” Scaramucci said on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
“But to say somebody is treasonous in doing something against the interests of the United States because they took a meeting is absolutely ridiculous.”
Scaramucci added, “This is absolutely ridiculous he would make a statement like that if he made the statement.”
According to excerpts from a new book by Michael Wolff, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” Bannon is quoted as saying that a meeting the president’s son held with Russians, along with campaign advisers Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton was “treasonous.”
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s—, and I happen to think it’s all of that you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon is quoted in Wolff’s book as saying of the legal implications of the June 2016 meeting.
Bannon did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment Wednesday.
President Donald Trump eviscerated Bannon in a statement Wednesday and downplayed his former adviser’s role in the campaign. Bannon was officially brought onto Trump’s campaign as CEO in August 2016 and named White House chief strategist before being fired in August.
“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said in a statement, adding, “Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was.”
Trump was “furious” and “disgusted” by Bannon’s comments, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
“I think furious, disgusted would probably certainly fit, when you make such outrageous claims and completely false claims against the president, his administration, and his family,” Sanders said during the press briefing Wednesday.
Scaramucci challenged Bannon to “get on the air” and take back the comment.
He also defended the president’s eldest son as patriotic and argued that “there’s nobody less treasonous than Don Jr.”
Scaramucci shot down the book’s reporting that Trump’s goal was ultimately not to win the presidency, but to get famous from running a campaign.
“The president wanted to win. Nobody was working harder during the campaign than the president,” Scaramucci told “GMA.”
Scaramucci left his role as White House communications director in July after a mere 11 days on the job.
The dismissal followed his scathing, profanity-laced critique of Bannon, who was then serving as White House chief strategist, over a phone call to a reporter from The New Yorker was published.
ABC News’ John Santucci contributed to this report.