- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 6, 2018

President Trump on Friday blamed “Sloppy Steve” Bannon for bringing tell-all author Michael Wolff into the White House and denounced the book as a “fraud.”

“I guess Sloppy Steve brought him into the White House quite a bit. It was one of those things,” said Mr. Trump. “That’s why Sloppy Steve is now looking for a job.”

Mr. Trump dubbed Mr. Bannon “Sloppy Steve” after the former chief White House political strategist, who was fired in August, was quoted in the book disparaging the administration and Mr. Trump’s family.

The president also said that the U.S. should have tougher libel laws to prevent the type of character assassination he suffered in Mr. Wolff’s new book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

“I consider it a work of fiction,” Mr. Trump told reporters at Camp David, where he was meeting with Congress’ Republican leaders and Cabinet secretaries to set the agenda for 2018.

“I think it is a disgrace that someone is able to have something, do something like that,” he said of the book. “The libel laws are very weak in this country. If they were strong, it would be very helpful. You wouldn’t have things like that happen where you can say whatever comes to your head.”

The president remarked on the book when asked why he felt it was necessary to have posted a message on Twitter defending his intellect.

“I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star … to President of the United States (on my first try),” Mr. Trump tweeted earlier in the day, referring to his “Apprentice” TV show and his real-estate empire. “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

He said that he wanted to counter the charges in the book, which described him as acting like a baby and lacking basic knowledge of government and current affairs.

“I hear this guy who does not know me, doesn’t know me at all. By the way, didn’t interview me for three — he said he interviewed me for three hours at the White House. It didn’t exist. It is in his imagination.”

Mr. Trump commented some news outlets that he usually considers “fake news” for coming to the defense of the administration and noting inaccuracies in the book.

“They know the author and they know he is a fraud,” said Mr. Trump.

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