×

Liberal writer who talked to Bannon: One problem with theory that he resigned on Aug. 7 ...

  • The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner isn't buying the contention that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon submitted his resignation on Aug. 7.
  • During an interview with Kuttner on Tuesday, Bannon invited him to the White House after Labor Day, Kuttner said.
  • During the interview, Bannon said the U.S. is already at "economic war with China."

At least one person isn't buying the contention that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon submitted his resignation on Aug. 7.

Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, interviewed Bannon on Tuesday afternoon. The interview, in which Bannon said the U.S. is already at "economic war with China," was published on Wednesday and was widely shared.

During that phone conversation, Bannon invited Kuttner, who was on vacation, to the White House after Labor Day, Kuttner said.

"If somebody knows that he's given his letter of resignation, why would he invite me to the White House after Labor Day?" the liberal writer told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Friday.

Then-White House Senior Counselor Steve Bannon last January.
Getty Images
Then-White House Senior Counselor Steve Bannon last January.

The White House announced Bannon and White House chief of staff John Kelly mutually agreed that Bannon's last day would be Friday. The statement came after several media reports that Bannon's departure was imminent.

The New York Times reported that Bannon submitted his resignation on Aug. 7, but the announcement was delayed after violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

Kuttner said Bannon, a populist who was said to be at odds with the more moderate members of the Trump administration, called him on Tuesday. During that conversation, Bannon contradicted the president's North Korea position and jabbed at colleagues.

"I wanted to give him enough rope, if you will. I wanted to let him say what he wanted to say, which was damning enough," Kuttner said.

"This is a guy who is strategically very smart, on the other hand who is so full of himself that he makes catastrophic errors."

The New York Times did not immediately comment in response to a request from CNBC.

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.