Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has suggested that a meeting between members of President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
Bannon reportedly made the comments in an interview for a book by author Michael Wolff that was seen by the Guardian.
The Guardian noted Bannon was particularly scathing about the June 2016 meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower.
Emails released by Trump Jr. indicate the meeting was set up because a “Russian government attorney” was willing to provide information that would “incriminate” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers,” Bannon told Wolff. “They didn’t have any lawyers.”
He added, “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s—, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Bannon also suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in last year’s election would focus on money laundering.
“You realize where this is going,” Bannon reportedly said. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy.
“Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner,” he added. “It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”
Manafort and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates have been indicted on charges that include money laundering.
Trump lashed out at Bannon in a statement responding to the report, claiming his former adviser has “lost his mind.”
“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,” Trump said.
Trump claims Bannon had very little to do with his victory in the presidential election and blamed the Breitbart Executive Chairman for Republicans losing the Alabama special Senate election.
The Guardian said Wolff’s book titled “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” is based on more than 200 interviews with Trump, his inner circle and players in and around the administration
(Photo: Gage Skidmore)