President Trump is nowhere near ready to forgive Steve Bannon, even after his former chief strategist tried to get back in good standing with Trump over the weekend after comments he made about the president's son.
"The president has been very clear on his thoughts," deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters on Monday, a day after Bannon said his criticism of the June 2016 meeting between Trump associates and a Russian lawyer was directed at former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
In multiple interviews with Michael Wolff, author of the new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Bannon had called the meeting "treasonous" and described Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. as "unpatriotic" for participating in it.
"Donald Trump Jr. is both a patriot and a good man," Bannon said in a statement on Sunday. "He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around."
"My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate," Bannon added. "He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends."
But Bannon's statement was too late for the president, Gidley said on Monday.
"When you go after somebody's family in the matter which he did, two of the president's children are serving this nation, sacrificing in their service, it is repugnant, it is grotesque and I challenge anybody to go and talk about somebody's family and see if that person doesn't come back and comes back hard," he told reporters.
"I don't believe there is any way back for Mr. Bannon at this point," Gidley added.
Following the initial release of excerpts from Wolff's book, White House officials said Trump was "furious" and "disgusted" by the comments made by his former aide. The president himself issued a stunning statement claiming Bannon had limited access and influence inside the West Wing, and later coined the nickname "Sloppy Steve."
Sources close to Bannon told the Washington Examiner last Friday that he had planned to dispute the quotes contained in Wolff's book, but waited too long to do so.
By the time Trump issued a statement claiming Bannon had "lost his mind," the former West Wing official had instead gone radio silent.