Jared Kushner has described Steve Bannon as “a suicide bomber” who “blew up” during his time in the White House, as the former president’s son-in-law continues to make the rounds trying to drum up interest in his new memoir.
The former White House senior adviser and husband of Ivanka Trump took aim at Bannon in an interview on The Hugh Hewitt Show on Friday, branding him “divisive” and accusing him of “knife-fighting” other members of the Trump administration.
While the former White House strategist was a “great partner” to Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, Mr Kushner said that “ the power got to his head” once they entered the White House.
“I think maybe the power got to his head a little bit, or he just — it was being more of what he was,” he said of Bannon.
“It became very divisive. He was undermining us, knife-fighting with colleagues, and it just wasn’t helping us implement the agenda.”
“That was very unfortunate, but one thing I write about in the book is – I go through a lot of the different interpersonal dynamics – is that I ended up not defeating Steve.”
He added: “Steve really defeated himself, you know. His head got so big he was just doing all these crazy things, and the ultimately just, you know, like a suicide bomber, blew up.”
His comments mark just the latest war of words between the two men who were known to have a fraught relationship since almost the very start of Mr Trump’s presidency.
In Mr Kushner’s new book Breaking History: A White House Memoir, he refers to his one-time colleague as a “cancer” and claims that he threatened to “break [him] in half” during a particularly heated spat.
Mr Kushner writes that that particular outburst came when he confronted Bannon about him apparently leaking information about Gary Cohn, chair of Mr Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers.
“Steve, you gotta stop leaking on Gary. We’re trying to build a team here,” he says he told Bannon.
According to Mr Kushner, Bannon fired back saying that Mr Cohn was “the one leaking on me” and warned him “don’t f*** with me”.
“Jared, right now, you’re the one undermining the president’s agenda… and if you go against me, I will break you in half. Don’t f*** with me,” he allegedly said.
Despite there being no love lost between the two men, Mr Kushner claims in his memoir that he didn’t oppose his father-in-law’s decision to grant Bannon a presidential pardon.
Bannon, the former boss of right-wing website Breitbart News and a longtime ally of Mr Trump, joined Mr Trump on his campaign trail and became a White House strategist when he took office.
But, he was fired from his role just months later in August 2017 amid reports of an escalating feud with Mr Kushner and other senior advisers.
Bannon was then charged over a vast fraud scheme related to raising funds to build Mr Trump’s border wall between the US and Mexico.
The former president pardoned him in his final days in office.
Bannon is now facing fresh legal troubles over his support of the former president.
In July, he was convicted of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena to testify before the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
He faces a minimum of 30 days in jail and a fine of between $100 and $100,000 at his sentencing in October.
Mr Kushner, meanwhile, has spent recent weeks plugging his new memoir, which was slammed as “earnest and soulless” in a brutal New York Times review.
The former adviser to Mr Trump has also denied suggestions that he could be the “mole” that tipped off federal agents about the trove of top secret documents found at Mar-a-Lago by federal agents.
The FBI executed a search warrant on the Palm Beach home of the former president as part of a probe into whether Mr Trump violated the Espionage Act.
A total of 27 boxes were seized including 11 containing classified information. Some of the information was of the highest possible top secret classification, meaning it should never have left the custody of the government.
On Friday, the DoJ released the heavily redacted affidavit, saying that there was “probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified [national defense information] or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the premises”.
“There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the premises,” the affidavit states.
Due to the redactions, it is unclear who the government sources are.
Several people, including Mr Trump’s niece Mary Trump, have speculated that the tipoff could have come from Mr Kushner. He denies the allegation.