Kushner says Bannon told him ‘I will break you in half’ if Kushner crossed him: memoir
(The Hill) — Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and former senior adviser to former President Trump, claims in a forthcoming memoir that former Trump adviser Steve Bannon told him “I will break you in half” if Kushner crossed him, according to CNN, which obtained an early copy of the book.
“Steve, you gotta stop leaking on Gary,” Kushner says he told Bannon in his forthcoming book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir,” referring to senior economic adviser Gary Cohn, who he says had told him that Bannon was leaking about him.
“We’re trying to build a team here,” he added.
Kushner says Bannon in response said, “Cohn’s the one leaking on me,” and claimed Kushner was “undermining” the agenda of the then-president, according to CNN.
“And if you go against me, I will break you in half. Don’t f— with me,'” Kushner describes Bannon saying.
Kushner also wrote in the book that White House officials joked about Bannon’s duties being leaking to media outlets.
“Stephen Miller joked to Hope and me, ‘I have a plan to split up Steve Bannon’s extensive workload. Hope, you leak to Jonathan Swan at Axios. Jared, you call Mike Bender from the Wall Street Journal. I’ll call Jeremy Peters from the New York Times, and … we’re done,'” Kushner wrote, according to the network.
Bannon exited the White House in August 2017 during a year that saw several major personnel shakeups and as the West Wing grappled with leaking and infighting among staff.
The former chief strategist was later charged in August 2020 with defrauding thousands of donors in connection with a fundraising campaign for a private border wall, but received a pardon from Trump shortly before the former president left office.
Kushner wrote in his book that he surprised Trump by saying he supported Bannon’s pardon.
“Bannon single-handedly caused more problems for me than anyone else in my time in Washington. He probably leaked and lied about me more than everyone else combined. He played dirty and dragged me into the mud of the Russia investigation. But now that he was in trouble, I felt like helping him was the right thing to do,” Kushner says he told Trump, according to CNN.
Earlier this month, Bannon was convicted of contempt of Congress by a federal jury after refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
The Hill has reached out to a Bannon spokesperson for comment.