Steve Bannon said he thought Donald Trump had dementia and launched a covert plan to remove him as president through the 25th Amendment, according to a new book by the veteran TV producer Isa Rosen.
Rosen shared the revelation while discussing his memoir based on his work on CBS’ iconic news show 60 Minutes called Ticking Clock: Behind the Scenes at 60 Minutes,’ on Skullduggery, a Yahoo News podcast.
In the memoir, released this week, he wrote that Bannon believed Trump “was suffering from early-stage dementia and that there was a real possibility he would be removed from office by the 25th Amendment.”
The 25th Amendment exists for when the president is incapable of carrying out his duties.
Bannon, a former Executive Chairman of the hard-right Breitbart News, was Chief Executive Officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He served as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President until Trump fired him in 2017, less than seven months after the inauguration.
Rosen told podcast hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman that Trump “turned on Bannon” after he appeared on a Time magazine cover in February 2017, weeks after the president was sworn in.
Calling it a“conspiracy” in his book, the award-winning TV producer added: “Bannon realized that Trump was repeating the same stories over and over again and Bannon kept saying this and he wanted to do something about it.”
Bannon even visited Republican super donor Robert Mercer’s home and tried to recruit him to the plot, said Rosen.
“Now, the secret was that Bannon crazily thought that he could be president,” said Rosen.”He would have been very happy to see Trump disappear from the scenes, either through the 25th Amendment, resigning for whatever reason, and he would step in and fill the gulf and carry the mantle of the Trump followers. But he was delusional about it.”
Rosen also includes a text that Bannon sent him in his book, which reads: “You need to do the 25th Amendment piece… BTW brother I never steer u wrong.”
Rosen told Skullduggery that Bannon was a “big talker” and a gossip. He would often drop in for casual chats at the White House and said he had a “therapist” role with Bannon. He described, “loitering in the chief of staff’s office, drinking Diet Cokes … and he would kind of download to me on stories.”
Bannon’s tenure came to an abrupt end following reports of power struggles with Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, as well as various other high-level White House staffers.
Trump had also become tired of him constantly taking credit for winning the election and their relationship fractured.
Bannon responded to Rosen’s claims himself during his own ‘War Room‘ podcast. He said: “This is another reporter trying to be a grifter and… complete, total fantasy.”
He did hint of White Hosue whispers about invoking the 25th Amendment, implicating other former senior members of the Trump administration.
“If you want to find out whoever said about the 25th Amendment go and talk to “anonymous” and talk about John Kelly (the White House chief of staff from 2017-2019) and talk to Jim Mattis (the secretary of defense 2017-2018) and talk to the cabinet members,” said Bannon.
Bannon and Trump have since patched up their differences. The former President pardoned Bannon just days before leaving office after he was charged with defrauding Trump’s political supporters amid a private effort to build a Mexican border wall.