President Trump has taken legal action in a bid to stop publication of the forthcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, a new behind-the-scenes book about the White House “that has already led Trump to angrily decry his former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.”
The latest twist in the showdown came after lawyers accused Bannon of breaching a confidentiality agreement and Trump denounced his former aide as a self-aggrandizing political charlatan who has “lost his mind.”
It marked an abrupt and furious rupture with the onetime confidant that could have lasting political impact on the November midterms and beyond.
The White House’s sharp public break with Bannon, which came in response to unflattering comments he made about Trump and his family in a new book about his presidency, left the self-fashioned populist alienated from his chief patron and even more isolated in his attempts to remake the Republican Party by backing insurgent candidates.
Late Wednesday, lawyers for Trump sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bannon, arguing he violated the employment agreement he signed with the Trump Organization in numerous ways and also may have defamed the president. They ordered that he stop communicating either confidential and or disparaging information, and preserve all records in preparation for “imminent” legal action.
Apparently, “the much anticipated account of life in Trump’s White House caught the president and his West Wing team off-guard,” and, according to officials and advisers, Trump “spent much of the day raging about the book to top aides.”