Bay Ridge

Grimm denounces Bannon over anti-Trump book

January 5, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Former congress member Michael Grimm is now trying to distance himself from his controversial political ally, Steve Bannon. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

Congressional candidate says he fully supports President

The fallout over the blockbuster book about the Trump White House by writer Michael Wolff has reached all the way from Washington, D.C. to Brooklyn, where it is shaking up a local congressional campaign.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who is running to regain his old seat representing the 11th Congressional District (Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island), is distancing himself from former chief White House adviser Steve Bannon.

In the wake of the release of excerpts from Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” in which Bannon is quoted as unleashing a torrent of criticisms against President Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., his daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

“I strongly denounce the comments by Steve Bannon as quoted by Michael Wolff. They are baseless attacks against the president’s family, beyond disturbing, and I fully support our commander in chief,” Grimm said in a statement reported by NY1.

Grimm, who resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to a federal charge of tax fraud, had been aligned with Bannon as he began his campaign to regain his old House seat.

Shortly after he announced his intention to run, Grimm posted a photo of himself with Bannon on his Twitter page.

But with his latest statement, Grimm sought to clarify that his loyalty is with Trump, not Bannon.

“I am running for Congress to help our president advance his pro-America agenda which has and will continue to help the hardworking people here in Staten Island and Brooklyn,” Grimm stated, according to NY1.

Grimm plans to run in a Republican Primary against Republican-Conservative U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, the former Staten Island district attorney who won Grimm’s seat in a special election held after Grimm stepped down in 2015.

Donovan easily won re-election in 2016.

His campaign spokeswoman, Jessica Proud, blasted both Grimm and Bannon.

“Michael Grimm and Steve Bannon are two peas in a pod who care about no one but themselves. Mr. Bannon’s outrageous attacks against President Trump have exposed him for who he is, and Mr. Grimm is no different; all too happy to cozy up to him when he thought he could use him to dupe voters into forgetting about his lies, liberal voting record, and silence during the 2016 presidential election. Michael Grimm publicly staked his loyalty in this campaign to Steve Bannon and voters won’t forget,” Proud said in a statement.

Grimm responded to Proud with a sharp criticism of Donovan.

“The only liberal in this Republican Primary is Dan Donovan who voted against repealing Obamacare, against banning sanctuary cities and against the tax plan, sponsors Pelosi-backed amnesty bills and has an NRA rating of ‘F.’ If Donovan is so proud of his record, then he should stop hiding behind his spokeswoman — I am ready anytime to debate my voting record and congressional achievements. Donovan will never have the courage to face me on the issues because he has failed to pass even one substantive bill. He’s done nothing except vote against President Trump when it counted most and that is an irrefutable fact,” Grimm told the Brooklyn Eagle via email.

Meanwhile, the publication of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” was moved up. The book was released on Friday.

Wolff quotes Bannon as saying that the now-famous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that Donald Trump Jr.,Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had with representatives from Russian after the Russians promised dirt on Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was “treasonous.”

Bannon is also quoted in the book as saying that one of the people who took part in that meeting should have contacted the FBI.

In another explosive section, Wolff writes that Bannon stated that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is likely centered on money laundering issues and that Donald Trump Jr. will not be able to withstand the scrutiny.

“They’re going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV,” Bannon is quoted in the book as saying.

Bannon left his White House job in August.