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Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, apologised on Sunday for comments which were quoted in a new controversial book calling US President Donald Trump's eldest son's 2016 meeting with Russians "treasonous and "unpatriotic".
"Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man.
He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around," Xinhua quoted Bannon saying.
"My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate," Bannon said. "He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends."
It was revealed that Bannon, quoted from excerpts of the book "Fire and Fury", described the 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between a Russian lawyer and Trump' s son and son-in-law as "treasonous" and "unpatriotic".
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also fiercely slapped Michael Wolff's book -- Fire and Fury-- saying that it is "filled with false and misleading accounts," adding that Trump felt "furious" and" disgusted" about Bannon's comments in the book.
Bannon was chief executive of the Trump campaign in its final three months during the 2016 US elections. He became the White House chief strategist after Trump took office in January 2017 and left the White House in August before returning to his perch as chairman of right-wing Breitbart News.