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Bannon to appear before US Congress committee for Russian Federation probe

12 January 2018

President Donald Trump excoriated former staffer and campaign strategist Steve Bannon last Wednesday, following the release of explosive quotes attributed to Bannon from the upcoming book; Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Still, Trump thanked the journalists in front of him, joking: "You've gotten very familiar with this room".

This comes after the release of a controversial tell-all book about Trump's first months in the White House. The book publisher said any effort by Trump to suppress the book would be "flagrantly unconstitutional".

We are going to take a very, very strong look at that.

The book, written by journalist Michael Wolff, details the first nine months of Donald Trump's term as US president, and has been denounced as "false", "misleading" and "phony" by the White House. Wolff told the Today show last week that he spent about three hours with Trump during the campaign and in the White House. Under the First Amendment people are free to denigrate and offend the President or anyone else, a freedom with which the President should be well-acquainted given his own penchant for insulting political opponents.

In an interview with TIME, Wolff admitted that receiving a threat from President Trump and his legal team to stop the publishing of "Fire and Fury" was both "ludicrous and scary".

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"Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency", Trump wrote in a four-paragraph response to Bannon's comments to the book's author, Michael Wolff. "I mean, that's the thing, everybody goes around saying he doesn't read anything", Wolff said.

A small caption in the corner sums up the gravity of the image in just two words: "Year One".

"Who's that?" Trump replied, according to Wolff. My job is to sort those and to produce a book, a portrait which either comports with your idea of reality. The president has also uttered a number of falsehoods about others, such as saying then-President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

"I nearly want to say I can't tell you what the truth is. Why would I have written this book?" he said.

"Fire and Fury" is based on Wolff's series of interviews with those involved in the Trump administration, and McNamara is confident that it is "an accurate report on events of vital public importance".

"It certainly wasn't something I expected, and it's certainly not something I feel good about", Wolff said on ABC's "The View" when asked if Bannon's leaving was a direct result of the book's publication.

Bannon to appear before US Congress committee for Russian Federation probe