President Donald J. Trump launched into his former top political aide Steve Bannon on Wednesday after a British newspaper published comments the Breitbart News chief made to author Michael Wolff for his upcoming book on the Trump presidency.
Bannon, who was fired by Trump in August, made highly disparaging remarks about Trump’s son, Don Jr., and son-in-law Jared Kushner, at one point accusing them of ‘treason’ for taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower a few months before the November 2016 election.
As reported by The Guardian, Bannon was interviewed by Wolff for the latter’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which is a highly anticipated tome in Washington political circles. The Guardian noted that Wolff was given unprecedented access to the president and his staffers during the research phase of his work.
Bannon reportedly told Wolff that the current special counsel investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller will focus on money laundering, primarily, and that Trump’s family will be caught up in charges.
“They’re going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV,” he predicted.
Bannon was particularly critical of the meeting between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York City in June 2016. The premise of the meeting was that Veselnitskaya would supply the Trump campaign with “dirt” on opponent Hillary Clinton, though no Clinton-related information was ever shared.
Rather than alert the FBI to the potential subversion of American democracy by a foreign power, Bannon said that Don Jr. agreed to the meeting by replying to an email, “I love it.”
In July 2016, after a leak to The New York Times revealed the meeting, Bannon remarked mockingly to Wolff, “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. They didn’t have any lawyers.
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s**t, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon reportedly said.
He also believes that Don Jr. also brought his Republican presidential candidate father into the mix.
“The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the 26th floor is zero,” Bannon said. (Related: Bannon Unleashed: Calls out Gary Cohn, says he ‘should have resigned’ over split with Trump on Charlottesville.)
Bannon also criticized Trump’s decision to fire then-FBI Director James Comey. And he says that Mueller’s investigation is really “all about money laundering,” noting that the special counsel has hired senior special prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, whom he described as “a money-laundering guy.”
“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party,” he added.
The president also noted that Bannon deserved zero credit for his unexpected win over Clinton.
“Now that he’s on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look,” he continued. “Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, which was delivered by the forgotten men and women of this country. Yet Steve had everything to do with the loss of a Senate seat in Alabama held for more than thirty years by Republicans. Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.”
Trump also accused Bannon of being one of his administration’s biggest leakers. “It’s the only thing he does well,” said the president.
Read more of J.D. Heyes’ work at The National Sentinel.