White House: Bannon Rift Doesn’t Do ‘Anything To The President’s Base’

President Donald Trump talks with Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove during a meeting with business leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Washington. From left are, Cosgrove, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, Trump, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that the widening rift between President Donald Trump and his former chief strategist Steve Bannon would not change the level of support Trump received from his base of supporters.

Bannon told author Michael Wolff that a meeting attended by Donald Trump Jr. and other campaign officials with a Kremlin-tied lawyer was “treasonous,” among other things, in a book Wollf is set to publish next week.

Trump responded in part: “When [Bannon] was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

“What does this do to the base that these two power houses are fighting for the Republican Party?” Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan asked Sanders at a press briefing Wednesday, referring to the spat. “What does this do to the President’s base?”

“I don’t think it does anything to the President’s base,” Sanders responded. “The base, and the people that supported this President supported the President and supported his agenda. Those things haven’t changed.”

“The President is still exactly who he was yesterday as he was two years ago when he started out on the campaign trail,” she continued. “His agenda hasn’t changed and he’s continuing to fight for and push for that agenda and I think the base is extremely excited and happy with the job that this President has done in his first year in office. Look at all he’s accomplished. I think they’re pretty happy with where he is.” 

She added later: “The President’s base is very solid. It hasn’t changed, because the President hasn’t changed and his agenda hasn’t changed. We’re continuing to accomplish a lot of the things that were on the President’s agenda as we did last year, and we’re going to do a lot more this year as we move into the beginning of 2018.”

Sanders said earlier in the briefing that she believed the last time Trump had spoken to Bannon was in the first part of December.

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