It’s becoming increasingly apparent that loyalty means little to Donald Trump — or Steve Bannon.
After excerpts of a new book emerged quoting the President’s former chief strategist accusing Mr Trump’s son and son-in-law of treason and being unpatriotic, Mr Trump hit back.
“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” he wrote in an official statement — a departure from his usual Twitter outbursts.
A controversial, far-right ideologue, Mr Bannon was the chief executive for the final months of Donald Trump’s run for office and has been credited with steering Mr Trump into the White House.
After the election, the 64-year-old took on the role of chief strategist — an influential, coveted position, on par with the White House chief of staff.
He had top security clearance and was reportedly behind the President’s initial, chaotic travel ban.
His relationship with the President soured while Mr Bannon was still in the White House, as Mr Trump became increasingly annoyed at his adviser being credited for policy decisions being made inside the West Wing.
But when Mr Bannon left the White House in August to purportedly continue the Trump agenda from the outside, the President was full of praise.
Mr Trump called him a “friend”, said “I like Steve a lot”, and thanked him for his service.
Today things are very different.
“Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country,” Mr Trump wrote.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders describes the book as “trashy tabloid fiction” and says the President was “furious” when he learned about it.
She says it was Mr Bannon who gave the author access to the White House, and that any staffers who spoke to him did so at the request of the former adviser.
Mr Bannon is the latest in a number of once-close allies Mr Trump has tried to distance himself from or lashed out at, painting a picture of an increasingly isolated Commander-in-Chief.
Mr Bannon has used his new-found power and profile to try and dethrone traditional Republicans, including the likes of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and push for a new-breed of right-wing candidates.
As Mr Trump notes in his written statement, finding victory hasn’t been as easy for Mr Bannon since he left the White House. Most notably, he backed failed Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, an accused paedophile.
There is, however, little doubt Mr Bannon and his publication Breitbart did a lot to energise Mr Trump’s base.
The question now is whether by burning Mr Bannon, has Mr Trump burnt his base?
Or has Mr Bannon lost his influence without the weight of the Oval Office behind him?
Either way, both men know support of the voters responsible for electing Donald Trump is something clearly worth fighting for.