Jared Kushner says Steve Bannon threatened to break him “in half” during a feud between the fellow White House advisers to former President Donald Trump.
The former presidential son-in-law portrays Bannon as a “toxic” presence in the West Wing who relished interoffice chaos in his forthcoming memoir “Breaking History.”
“Jared, right now, you’re the one undermining the president’s agenda,’ Bannon said, according to Kushner’s book. “And if you go against me, I will break you in half.”
“Don’t f— with me,” Bannon added, according to excerpts of the book revealed by CNN.
White House Senior Advisers Steve Bannon, left, and Jared Kushner, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/)
The two aides were allowed to feud by Trump along with then White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus in the early months of his term.
Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter and fellow ex-White House aide Ivanka Trump, admits being put on the back foot by Bannon’s prodigious appetite for office politics and leaking damaging information to the press.
Bannon, who refers to himself as an “economic nationalist,” was especially intent on undermining Kushner and then-Treasury Secretary Gary Cohn, whom he saw as Wall Street insiders who would eventually damage Trump’s popularity with his MAGA base.
“He probably leaked and lied about me more than everyone else combined. He played dirty and dragged me into the mud.”
Steve Bannon, chief strategist for President-elect Donald Trump, left, talks with Jared Kushner before the start of a President-elect Donald Trump’s news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday. (Evan Vucci/)
Kushner eventually won the West Wing “war” when Trump ousted Bannon as White House political strategist.
He portrays himself as a benevolent winner because he green-lighted Trump’s pardon of Bannon for swindling donors to a private group claiming to build a wall on the border with Mexico.
Bannon was recently convicted of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee.
“Now that he was in trouble, I felt like helping him was the right thing to do,” Kushner writes, without explaining why it was “right” to give Bannon a get out of jail card.