Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon lashed out the US president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner on Friday, describing the former as a source of bad advice and deriding the US president’s son-in-law as ignorant of their voter base.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Bannon vented about the couple, both of whom serve as senior advisers within the administration and are seen as having significant influence over Trump.
“The railhead of all bad decisions is the same railhead: Javanka,” Bannon said, using a nickname merging Ivanka and Jared.
“Ivanka was a fount of bad advice during the [election] campaign,” said Bannon, who left the White House in August and returned to the far-right Breitbart website.
Trump, he said, had tried to smooth the internal feud between Ivanka, Kushner and Bannon, calling a meeting in the Oval Office that all four attended.
During the talk, Bannon accused Ivanaka of being the “queen of leaks.”
“You’re a fucking liar,” Ivanka shot back, according to Bannon’s account.
Bannon also scorned Ivanka’s attitude towards Republican candidate for the US Senate, Roy Moore, who faced accusations of sexual misconduct with teenagers during an ultimately failed campaign to win the seat for Alabama.
Although her father supported Moore, as did Bannon, Ivanka had declared: “There is a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”
“What about the allegations about her dad and that 13-year-old?” Bannon said, referring to a claim by a California woman that Trump raped her when she was a teenager. The woman last year dropped a lawsuit over the claim.
As for Kushner, Bannon said “he doesn’t know anything about the hobbits or the deplorables,” a reference to the terms used to describe the Tea Party movement and segments of Trump’s voter base.
Kushner is seen as a key figure behind Trump’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey, which Bannon described as “the dumbest political decision in modern political history, bar none. A self-inflicted wound of massive proportions.”
The president’s son-in-law, for his part, “viewed Bannon as a leaker at best, and a racist at worst,” Vanity Fair reported, based on information from a source close to the president’s son-in-law.
Bannon, who advised Trump during the presidential campaign, also insisted there was no collusion with the Russians.
However, he claimed Kushner sought meetings with Russian officials to dig up dirt on Clinton.
“He’s taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff. This tells you everything about Jared,” Bannon said. “They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That’s his maturity level.”
Russian meddling in the US elections has become the focus of an FBI investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump has repeatedly denied claims of “collusion” with Russia, and denounced the “witch hunt” against him.
Bannon left White House in August and returned to Breitbart News.
AFP contributed to this report.