Steve Bannon Says That Jeff Zucker's Fox News Slam Was "Totally Absurd"
Bannon also said that he doesn't regret participating in Michael Wolff's book 'Fire and Fury.'
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on Thursday blasted CNN president Jeff Zucker for saying that Fox News is "state-run media" and a "propaganda machine" that does a "disservice" to the country.
"To come in here and say that another network is propaganda is absolutely, totally absurd," Bannon said in response to Zucker's remarks, made earlier Thursday at the Financial Times Future of News conference in New York.
"You can't name a more propaganda outfit than CNN," said Bannon, who spoke a few hours after Zucker at the conference. "That is a propaganda outfit. Every night it's, 'Hate Trump.'"
Bannon also said he has no regrets about his decision to be interviewed by Michael Wolff for his bombshell book, Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House, despite the heavy blowback he received from President Donald Trump and his family.
Bannon said that Wolff's book, released in early January, was "authorized" by the White House and by outgoing communications director Hope Hicks. "I haven't seen anybody refute anything that was said in the book," he said.
After taking heavy incoming fire for several days, Bannon was forced to apologize for the comments he made in the book about Donald Trump Jr. and others.
During his appearance Thursday, Bannon pointed out that counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway sat with Wolff, a Hollywood Reporter contributor, for the book.
He also mentioned a Jan. 17 article in Bloomberg that explained how Wolff got access for the book. "Nearly everyone who spoke with Wolff thought someone else in the White House had approved their participation," according to the story. "And it appears that not a single person in a position of authority to halt cooperation with the book — including Trump himself — raised any red flags, despite Wolff’s well documented history."
Bannon's appearance at the conference drew protesters to Columbus Circle. Before interviewing Bannon, FT editor Lionel Barber told the crowd that Bannon was not paid to appear. Bannon mentioned that he didn't even get a free FT subscription. "It's a premium product," Barber responded cheekily.