"Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by author Michael Wolff are seen at a local book store in Washington, DC. Image Credit: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: The author of an explosive new book that questions President Donald Trump’s fitness for office on Monday contradicted Steve Bannon’s explanation of comments that had angered his former boss.

Michael Wolff appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. In the book, Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, described a meeting between Donald Trump Jr., senior campaign aides and a Russian lawyer as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”

The reference angered the president, who last week lashed out at Bannon, saying he “lost his mind.” Bannon sought to make amends Sunday, saying in statement his description wasn’t aimed at Trump’s son but at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But Wolff told MSNBC: “it was not directed at Manafort, it was directed directly at Don. Jr.”

 [It is] tragic and unfortunate [Bannon]would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive.”

 - Stephen Miller, Chief policy adviser

Wolff’s book portrays the 45th president as a leader who doesn’t understand the weight of his office and whose competence is questioned by aides.

Trump’s chief policy adviser Stephen Miller, in a combative appearance Sunday on CNN, described the book as “nothing but a pile of trash through and through.” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Trump was “completely fit” to lead the country. “These are from people who just have not accepted the fact that President Trump is the United States president and I’m sorry for them in that,” Pompeo, who gives Trump his regular intelligence briefings, said on Fox News Sunday.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said she visits the White House once a week, and “no one questions the stability of the president.”

“I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to, to lie for money and for power. This is like taking it to a whole new low,” she told ABC’s This Week. That picture, said Miller, “is so contrary to reality, to the experience of those who work with him.”

Miller also criticised Bannon, who is quoted extensively in the book, saying it was “tragic and unfortunate” that Bannon “would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive.”