Hours before the statement came out, administration officials used appearances on the Sunday news shows to rally behind Trump and try to undermine Wolff's "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House", which portrays the 45th president as a leader who doesn't understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides. "He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around", Bannon said in a statement released on Sunday that was obtained by Fortune.
After excerpts from the book leaked early last week, the White House decried it as pure "fiction, " but the president reserved his fiercest anger for Bannon, who was pushed from the White House in August but - over the objection of many aides - remained in Trump's orbit, with the two men speaking by phone occasionally.
Senior White House Advisor Stephen Miller waits to go on the air in the White House Briefing Room on February 12, 2017.
Bannon concluded the statement, which was first published by Axios, by expressing regret for diverting attention away from the nuances of the President's accomplishment.
The book portrays Trump, a former reality TV star who took office almost a year ago, as mentally unstable and unfit for the demands of his job.
Those close to Bannon said that as the controversy unfolded, he seemed eager to find a way to try to fix his relationship with the president. That scathing response left Bannon alienated among the more conservative factions of Trump's Republican Party. Bannon said his support for Trump and his agenda was "unwavering". The president's fired chief strategist said his labeling Trump campaign staffers' 2016 meeting with Russian operatives "treasonous" applied to then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, not meeting participant Donald Trump Jr.
Bannon did not specifically dispute the quotes, but said his criticism was meant for Manafort, who is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election. "He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends", Bannon said.
Meanwhile UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dismissed concerns about Mr Trump's mental health, saying she saw someone "who is committed to ensuring that he is taking decisions in the best interests of the United States".
"It's tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive and the whole White House staff is deeply disappointed in his comments", Miller said on Sunday.