Morty » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:49 pm wrote:He didn't even want the stinking job in the first place! (That must give you some solace, hey slad?) If we'd all known this on inauguration day it might have made for slightly smoother sailing.
I can remember looking at Trump after election day, thinking "Fuck me, who'd want to become the president of the USA at 70 years of age?"
If we'd all known this on inauguration day
Scoop: Wolff taped interviews with Bannon, top officials
Michael Wolff has tapes to back up quotes in his incendiary book — dozens of hours of them.
Among the sources he taped, I'm told, are Steve Bannon and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh.
So that's going to make it harder for officials to deny embarrassing or revealing quotes attributed to them in "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," out Tuesday.
In some cases, the officials thought they were talking off the record. But what are they going to do now?
Although the White House yesterday portrayed Wolff as a poseur, he spent hours at a time in private areas of the West Wing, including the office of Reince Priebus when he was chief of staff.
The White House says Wolff was cleared for access to the West Wing fewer than 20 times.
Wolff, a New Yorker, stayed at the Hay Adams Hotel when he came down to D.C., and White House sources frequently crossed Lafayette Park to meet him there.
Part of Wolff's lengthy index entry for Bannon:
Some reporters and officials are calling the book sloppy, and challenging specific passages.
How could Wolff possibly know for sure what Steve Bannon and the late Roger Ailes said at a private dinner?
It turns out Wolff hosted the dinner for six at his Manhattan townhouse.
https://www.axios.com/how-michael-wolff ... 60813.html
FOX NEWS FIRST: 'Cease-and-desist' in Trump-Bannon war of words; Bracing for 'bomb cyclone'
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/04/fo ... clone.html
'Bannon may already be cooperating with Mueller': tell-all book shifts frame of Russia inquiry
In Fire and Fury, Steve Bannon is specific about what he regards as the most dangerous aspect of the investigation: Jared Kushner’s ties to Deutsche Bank
Ed PilkingtonLast modified on Thu 4 Jan ‘18 17.01 EST
Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner in the wake of Trump’s presidential victory last year. In the book, Wolff writes that Bannon said: ‘The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that.’
Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner in the wake of Trump’s presidential victory last year. In the book, Wolff writes that Bannon said: ‘The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that.’ Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP
One of the many telling vignettes in Michael Wolff’s book is the sight of Steve Bannon, then White House chief strategist, pacing the West Wing, openly dispensing odds on Donald Trump’s chances of surviving in office.
Bannon gave Trump a probability of a third that he might limp to the finish line because of Democratic incompetence; a third that he would be pushed from office under the 25th amendment on grounds of mental incapability; and a third that he would be impeached.
That a man who was for many months Trump’s right-hand man would brazenly give out such doom-laden predictions is remarkable enough. But letting the world know of it via Wolff could make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The most explosive aspect of Bannon’s take, revealed by Fire and Fury, is Trump’s handling – or rather mishandling – of the Russia investigation that rages around him. Assuming Wolff’s account to be accurate (and Bannon has said nothing so far to suggest otherwise) the former chief strategist considered Trump entirely out of his depth with regard to special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into possible links between Russia and the Trump team.
On a practical level, Trump did not have the “discipline to navigate a tough investigation”, Wolff writes, nor the savvy to bring on powerful lawyers. Most seriously, Trump was, in Bannon’s estimation, unable to grasp “how much Mueller had on him and his family”.
“He doesn’t necessarily see what’s coming,” Bannon is quoted as saying.
We now know from the Guardian’s account of excerpts of the book that Bannon believes the June 2016 meeting between Trump’s son and Russians bearing promises of dirt on Hillary Clinton to have been “treasonous”. We also know that Bannon puts the chances of Donald Jr failing to have informed his father of the encounter at “zero”.
That is not evidence that would satisfy as meticulous a prosecutor as Mueller, but it does shift the frame of the Russia inquiry. Trump may try to belittle Bannon’s involvement with his campaign and subsequent time in the White House, scoffing that he had “little to do with our historic victory”, but few will buy that.
“Bannon was an insider in the campaign at the highest level, and in the White House all the way to last August,” said Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under George W Bush. “He was talking to the president constantly – I can’t imagine Trump not confiding in him, including over the Russia inquiry.”
That in turn raises the possibility that Bannon might cooperate. Certainly, there is no love lost between him and Trump family members, notably the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“Bannon may already be cooperating with Mueller for all we know,” Painter said. “He has no incentive to cover up for Trump, or his family members.”
Fire and Fury: Key explosive quotes from the new Trump book - video
All of which increases the significance of Bannon’s interpretation of the Russia investigation as it reaches possibly critical stages. Where he places his focus is clear from the book: the financial doings of Trump and his immediate family.
When Trump gave an interview to the New York Times last July in which he warned Mueller not to delve into his family’s finances, Bannon’s response was scathing. Wolff writes: “‘Ehhh … ehhh … ehhh!’ screeched Bannon, making the sound of an emergency alarm. ‘Don’t look here! Let’s tell a prosecutor what not to look at!’”
Bannon is specific about what he regards as the most dangerous aspect of the Mueller inquiry: “It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that.”
Last month it was revealed that federal prosecutors are looking into Kushner’s ties to Deutsche Bank. Those ties include the $285m borrowed from a bank which has been implicated in Russian money-laundering scandals to refinance his holding of part of the old New York Times building in Manhattan. Last July, the Guardian disclosed that Kushner bought the property from a Soviet-born oligarch whose company was named in a high-profile New York money-laundering case.
“Watch Kushner” and “watch Deutsche Bank” seems to be two of the takeaways from this extraordinary chapter in an exceptional presidency.
The book also gives an account of events on board Air Force One, in which a misleading public statement was prepared to explain the Don Jr meeting in Trump Tower with the Russians.
As was previously known, Trump took control of the statement, insisting the meeting was exclusively about the adoption of Russian children. In fact, the Russian contingent offered incriminating intelligence on Clinton, a crucial detail that was not mentioned but which became quickly public after the email chain involving Don Jr was released.
Wolff gives a more complete rendition, again assuming the accuracy of his account. He writes that the entire White House communications team was relegated to the back of the plane while Trump was up front composing a public statement that could be construed as an attempted cover-up, exposing the president to legal peril.
“It used to hurt my feelings when I saw them running around doing things that were my job,” Sean Spicer, the then White House director of communications, is quoted as saying. “Now I’m glad to be out of the loop.”
The person who remained in the loop was Hope Hicks, currently a successor of Spicer’s as communications chief.
Bannon is said by Wolff to have seen Hicks as “nothing more than a hapless presidential enabler” and flunky for “Jarvanka” – Kushner and his wife, Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
In the fallout from the Trump Tower meeting and false statement, Wolff reports a fight between Bannon and Hicks in the cabinet room. “You don’t know what you are doing,” Bannon is said to have shouted. “You don’t know how much trouble you are in … You are as dumb as a stone!”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... rt-mueller
‘THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN’
Bannon Banished for Telling Truths About Trump as MAGA Monsters Turn on Each Other
Watching Bannon fall victim to the claws of the monster he helped create mostly invokes the response of ‘Alexa, order all the popcorn.’
01.05.18 5:00 AM ET
Steve Bannon’s spectacular fall from grace in Trump World is a big, salty, delicious bowl of schadenfreude from the political gods in celebration of the new year.
Bannon wasn’t just one of Trump’s most senior aides and an architect of the destruction of the Republican Party; he was the multi-shirted, red-eyed White House troll, leaking tales of his brilliance to a constellation of reporters in the ostensibly hated mainstream media. His house organ Breitbart and a host of Trump-right websites and news outlets sang praises to his dank genius. Bannon, they proclaimed, was Trumpism in its distilled essence: revanchist, ahistorical, racially inflected, and consumed with an imaginary war on the media and America’s broader society.
Now, like two rats in a bag, Trump and Bannon are tearing at one another in a delicious public spat that has every possible bit of drama, except Bannon drunkenly bellowing for a round of fisticuffs with all comers and Trump offering to compare the length of their relative manhoods on live television. They deserve one another in so many ways.
Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury (President Postliterate Bestwords is waiting on either the audio book or for Kellyanne to organize tableaux vivants of the various chapters) is blowing Washington apart today, and the biggest rift is between Trumpism and Bannonism. I’ve written before about the inevitable, tragic dynamic of this brokeback bromance; Trump needs a mindless cheering section screaming hosannas no matter how often he stumbles toward the nuclear and political precipice. Bannon needs an avatar for his Alt-Reich national socialist—oh, sorry, I meant populist—fantasies.
The bold new counter-establishment Bannon sought to create in the wake of Trump’s fluke victory was like most of Bannon’s hustles: contingent on a kind of balls-out bravado and a willingness to lie and scrap with equal intensity. It was easy to be a political arsonist when Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah were writing the checks, but the Mercer money train came to a halt when the Metternich of Alabama, after getting beaten like a cheap drum in the U.S. Senate race, was then quoted boasting to Wolff that the Mercers would be funding his 2020 presidential campaign.
Late Thursday, rumors swept the media world that Bannon was about to be booted from his role as Caudillo of the Breitbart empire. For Bannon, this would be a fate worse the death. His power derives almost entirely from a website that bears the name of a better man, and rebuilding a new version from scratch would be a costly and difficult process.
Republican senators are breathing a deep sigh of relief. After watching Bannon hitch the GOP’s wagon to a pedo-curious Roy Moore in Alabama, the idea of Bannon mounting a slate of National Socialist—dammit, there I go again, populist—candidates seems more distant, particularly without Sugar Momma Mercer keeping that sweet bank rolling in and the lights on at advertiser-poison “news” outlet Breitbart.
Trump Spoke to Bannon’s Money Queen. Then She Knifed Him.
Alex Jones on Bannon: It Looks Like ‘He Has Organ Failure’
Breitbart Still Wants to Make Paul Ryan Miserable
One thing I can’t stop smiling about is that for all the junk-waving swagger of Bannon, Mitch McConnell has forgotten more about winning elections than Bannon will ever know. Take away Robert and Rebekah’s money—and here it goes, the Mercers said Thursday—and Steve Bannon isn’t fit to wash Karl Rove’s car. He’s no Lee Atwater. Has anyone checked on Paul Nehlen?
Bannon fronts like Karl von Clausewitz but delivers like George Costanza. Bannon is a terrible, horrible, no-good political strategist; he seeks out the dumbest common-denominator garbage candidates he can find and tries to elevate them using breathless Breitbart pieces praising them as the True Voice of The Conservative Revolution… until, of course, they lose or he abandons them.
As Trump’s lack of nationalist wins becomes painfully evident, it’s harder to feed the rube machine with Fake News from the Dear Leader. They’re frustrated that there is still no Wall, still no mass deportations, and still no trade war with the perfidious Chinese. Where will Bannon find and fund the next cadre of Roy Moores?
One of the most cringeworthy aspects of the Trump era is the mental and moral gymnastics required of conservatives to Trump-splain every new feud, screw-up, and absurdity. By Thursday afternoon, many were slamming Bannon as an apostate to the Trump faith. Matt Drudge, the wellspring of the right’s media ecosystem, has gone into full-throttle hate mode, running headline after headline slamming Bannon. Rush Limbaugh and his lesser imitators joined in the Bannon-bashing and even professional lunatic Alex Jones had the knives out for his former ally.
Some in the Trump-right were pretending that this titanic rupture in Trumpworld was a devious plan to distract from his masterful handling of Iran and North Korea. Let me disabuse the Trump readers in our audience (a small subset, I know) of this fantasy. No, this isn’t the president playing some form of quantum chess with rules so complex and subtle that it would take a team of physicists and string theorists decades to understand. Trump is a furious, shallow, weak man reacting in a spasm of self-indulgent fury to excerpts from a book repeating the taped, verbatim views of some of his most senior aides.
Their views were consonant with what White House reporters know to be true: shock, contempt, and dismay at Trump’s mental and moral vacuum, and that they’ve pledged themselves to a man so spectacularly incapable of executing his duties as commander in chief they can hardly believe the unique mixture of horror and absurdity they feel toward their boss. This is a White House populated now by the weakest survivors of the “As hire As and Bs hire Cs and Trump hires Omarosa” management philosophy—none of whom have the stature or judgment to control the worst excesses of his behavior.
Trump’s ugly breakup with soon to be Psycho Ex Steve “I Won’t Be Ignored, Don” Bannon came because the Wolff book is too intimate and accurate, not because it’s fake news created by an angry ex-aide. Bannon’s animus toward Don Jr., Ivanka, and Jared has been made abundantly clear to dozens of other reporters and was no secret. Hell, the president knows the apple of stupidity didn’t fall far from the Trump tree with Don Jr., and he’s obviously not a huge fan of Jared.
It was Bannon’s quote that the meeting with the Russians was treasonous; that was the end for Donald. It was the admission that the No. 1 political streetfighter in the Trump White House knew the truth about the Trump team’s Russia connections. Bannon was willing to say it to a reporter. On tape. In Trump’s mind, that is the sin of sins.
The American political immune system had a rough year in 2017. In 2018, it looks like it’s stirring to life. I doubt we’re rid of Bannon quite yet. Like a form of drug-resistant political syphilis, Bannon will continue to command a degree of attention and will corrode the world around him, though Republicans can avoid reinfection with a few simple precautions. Practice safe politics, kids.
Watching Bannon fall victim to the claws of the monster he helped create mostly invokes the response of “Alexa, order all the popcorn.” His absurd supervillain persona and Rube Goldberg schemes to redefine American politics were married up to his shit-tier actual political skills. This disaster was always inevitable.
In 2015, Bannon promised to destroy my career because I dared stand up to Trump. He put his minions to work doing just that, even dragging my kids into the fight. Bannon even sent an email to a friend of mine saying, “This is going to be fun.”
Sorry, Steve. I’m still here and still kicking.
You were right about one thing… this is fun. For me, at least.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/bannon-ba ... each-other
Despite blast by Trump, Bannon reiterates support for President
By Madison Park, CNN
Updated 7:07 AM ET, Thu January 4, 2018
(CNN) Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is reiterating his support for President Donald Trump after his former boss blasted him over explosive comments he made in a new book.
Speaking on Breitbart radio Thursday morning, Bannon assured a caller that "nothing will ever come between us and President Trump and his agenda" adding that "we're tight on this agenda as we've ever been.
On Wednesday night, Bannon praised Trump personally while hosting the Breitbart News Tonight radio show on SiriusXM.
"The President of the United States is a great man," he said. "You know, I support him day in and day out."
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/04/politics/ ... index.html
Bannon group shopped anti-Trump document in 2015
Bannon group once shopped anti-Trump document
Washington (CNN)Before Donald Trump and Steve Bannon were enemies, they were allies. And not long before that, Bannon was part of an effort to sink Trump's presidential hopes -- even if Trump didn't know it.
A conservative watchdog group led by Bannon tried to discredit Trump in the early stages of the 2016 Republican presidential primary by shopping a document alleging that Trump had ties to mobsters, according to conservative sources and a copy of the document reviewed by CNN.
The anti-Trump opposition research was the work of author Peter Schweizer for the Government Accountability Institute, which he cofounded with Bannon in 2012. It described years of alleged business connections between Trump companies and organized crime figures, allegations that have circulated among Trump detractors for years.
The New York Times reported on the document on Friday.
The GAI is backed by the Mercer family, one of the largest benefactors for Trump's campaign. Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, is listed as the group's chairwoman on its website. But in 2015, when the document was produced, the Mercers were backing the campaign of one of Trump's rivals, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Bannon had not yet joined the Trump campaign.
In early 2016, at the height of the Republican primary fight, Cruz cited possible mob ties as one reason for Trump to release his taxes. Cruz and his campaign cited published news accounts at the time as the basis for making the charge.
The document offers a glimpse at behind-the-scenes efforts by conservatives to derail Trump's presidential bid. The document is similar to opposition research produced for both Republicans and Democrats targeting Trump. The best known of those is one produced by the Washington firm Fusion GPS alleging ties between Trump and Russians, which now has helped spawn a broad investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
"We research political figures from all political parties and our basic premise is follow the money. That's what guides our research approach," Schweizer told CNN.
A source familiar with GAI's work said the group conducted research on all Republican and Democratic candidates running in the 2016 election. Bannon and the Mercers were not involved in the "day to day machinations of the research," but the source said they were aware of the effort to drill down on candidates and share some of that research with news organizations.
A GOP operative provided CNN a copy of the anti-Trump document. Two sources confirmed that GAI shopped copies of the document to donors for Trump rivals during the GOP primary.
"We did not and would not share that with any candidates," the source familiar with GAI's work said. "There would be no sharing with candidates, with political operatives or anybody of that category."
Bannon declined to comment.
Bannon, Schweizer and the Mercers went on to curry favor with Trump when he became the GOP nominee and, later, the President.
Trump brought on Bannon as CEO of his presidential campaign in August 2016. But Bannon's subsequent West Wing tenure as Trump's chief political strategist was brief. He was fired in August 2017, but remained in contact with the President. Their friendship hit rocky times last week with the publication of comments by Bannon in Michael Wolff's book disparaging Trump and his family.
The President issued a blistering statement against his former political guru, saying Bannon has "lost his mind," and later slapped him with the nickname "Sloppy Steve" via Twitter.
Bannon said Sunday he regretted not responding sooner to comments attributed to him in Wolff's book that were critical of Donald Trump Jr.
It's not clear whether Trump knew of Bannon's and the Mercers' ties to the document aimed at discrediting him when they became his allies in 2016. However, the Mercers' prior support for Cruz was widely known.
Trump regularly cited some of Schweizer's other work on the campaign trail, notably that on Hillary Clinton and alleging corruption. He touted Schweizer's 2015 anti-Clinton book "Clinton Cash", which made use of research by GAI, and urged an investigation of allegations of corruption involving the Clinton Foundation.
The book's allegations formed at least part of the basis for some FBI field offices to open preliminary inquiries into the Clinton Foundation. Those investigations stalled in 2016 amid the election. But CNN reported Friday that the inquiries have been given new life and are now led by the FBI office in Little Rock, Arkansas.
http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/politics/ ... index.html
Steve Bannon hired the same lawyer as Reince Priebus — and that should scare Donald Trump
11 Jan 2018
FILE PHOTO: - U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and then National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. on January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
Steve Bannon will reportedly cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.
The former White House chief strategist has hired the same attorney — Bill Burck, of the firm Quinn Emanuel — as White House counsel Don McGahn and former chief of staff Reince Priebus in the Russia probe, reported The Daily Beast.
That arrangement isn’t unusual, but it could signal bad news for the president as Mueller examines possible efforts to obstruct investigations into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.
Bannon left the White House in August, and he fell out of favor with Trump and the Republican Party after serving as a major source in the Michael Wolff book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
Since the falling out last week, Bannon has signaled he’s willing to help Mueller investigate the White House.
Bannon could be an incredibly valuable witness for the special counsel, especially if his testimony matches up with McGahn and Priebus — who took the highly unusual step of keeping contemporaneous notes throughout his six months as chief of staff.
McGahn received the initial warning Jan. 26 from acting attorney general Sally Yates that national security adviser Mike Flynn may have been “compromised” by Russia.
Two days later, Bannon, Priebus and Flynn all took part in a phone call between Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
The following day, Trump signed an executive order elevating Bannon to the National Security Council and while downgrading the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence, a move that most observers considered baffling.
Bannon was removed in early April from the National Security Council, about six weeks after Flynn was forced out of the administration.
His allies said at the time that Bannon had been placed on the principals committee to keep an eye on Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in late January about his conversations a month before with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
“We all knew Flynn had issues,” a senior White House official said at the time.
Flynn has agreed to cooperate with Mueller under the terms of his guilty plea signed last month.
Bannon could help investigators understand when Trump learned Flynn had lied to the FBI, and what steps he might have taken to cover up the crime to which his close ally later pleaded guilty.
The former chief strategist, who was ousted as Breitbart News chief over his feud with Trump, could also potentially tell investigators whether Trump fired FBI director James Comey in hopes of stopping or stalling the Justice Department investigation later taken up by Mueller.
Comey has said the president asked for his loyalty and urged him to let go of the Flynn investigation, and Priebus reportedly has notes backing up those accounts.
Sean Spicer, who served as White House press secretary until July, also reportedly kept “notebook after notebook” during his time with the Trump campaign and at administration.
Officials in previous White House administrations have expressed surprise that either man would keep notes, saying that past investigations have shown that those detailed accounts can serve as potentially damaging evidence.
Bannon told Wolff a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort was “unpatriotic” and even “treasonous,” and Mueller will no doubt ask what he meant by those remarks.
Manafort, who served as campaign manager before Bannon joined the Trump team, has been indicted on money laundering and other charges in the Mueller probe.
Bannon subpoenaed to testify in front of grand jury
Robert Mueller has subpoenaed Steve Bannon to testify in front of a grand jury as part of the Trump-Russia investigation, reports the New York Times.
Why it matters: "The move marked the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle.” Last week, it was revealed that Bannon called Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting with Russians over dirt on Hillary Clinton "treasonous" in Michael Wolff's new book.
https://www.axios.com/bannon-subpoened- ... 29214.html
Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Mueller's Russia investigation
Sonam Sheth and Natasha Bertrand
Special counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to appear before a grand jury as part of the Russia investigation.
News of the subpoena came on the same day that Bannon testified before the House Intelligence Committee about what he witnessed when he worked on the Trump campaign between August 2016 and November 2016.
Bannon was a central figure in the latter part of the campaign and in the beginning months of the Trump presidency.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
News of the subpoena comes on the same day Bannon testified, in a closed-door hearing, before investigators on the House Intelligence Committee who are scrutinizing Russia's election meddling.
Bannon was one of President Donald Trump's top advisers during the transition period and in the White House. In addition to serving as chief strategist, he also had a seat on the National Security Council.
Rumors have swirled that Bannon, while in the White House, was responsible for some of the most damaging leaks about Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner — including one about Kushner's meeting in December 2016 with the CEO of a sanctioned Russian bank.
Bannon was also highly critical of a meeting Kushner, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. took with two Russian lobbyists in June 2016.
According to author Michael Wolff's book, "Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House," Bannon called the meeting "treasonous" and "unpatriotic."
"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 added.
He later clarified that he was primarily criticizing Manafort, who he said should have known better than to meet with the Russians at the height of the campaign.
He also added that there was "zero" chance that Trump Jr. did not introduce the lobbyists to Trump.
Trump and his lawyers have denied any knowledge of the meeting. But the president attracted scrutiny last summer when The Washington Post reported that he "dictated" an initially misleading statement that Trump Jr. released in response to reports about the Trump Tower meeting.
The statement had to be amended several times after it emerged that Trump Jr. took the meeting after he was offered compromising information on then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."
Bannon was also one of the officials Trump Jr. emailed about his repeated contacts with WikiLeaks in September 2016, according to documents obtained by The Atlantic.
http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-ba ... ion-2018-1
Inside the room: What Steve Bannon told Congress yesterday
Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images
Steve Bannon made one conspicuous slip up in his closed-door hearing on Tuesday with the House Intelligence Committee, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the confidential proceedings. Bannon admitted that he'd had conversations with Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and legal spokesman Mark Corallo about Don Junior's infamous meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in June 2016.
Why it matters: The meeting — and the subsequent drafting of a misleading statement on Air Force One — has become one of the most important focal points of the Russia investigations, both on Capitol Hill and within Robert Mueller's team, because it provides the closest thing that exists to evidence that the Trump campaign was willing to entertain collusion with Russians.
Bannon immediately realized he'd slipped up and disclosed conversations he wasn't supposed to discuss, because they happened while he was chief strategist in the White House. Throughout the rest of the session, committee members — in particular Republican Trey Gowdy and Democrat Adam Schiff — hammered Bannon over the fact that he'd mentioned those conversations but refused to discuss anything else about his time in the White House.
Bannon's lawyer, Bill Burck, told the committee in his opening remarks that Bannon wouldn't answer any questions that relate to his time inside the White House or during the presidential transition. The committee caught him in the slip-up inside the first 90 minutes.
Other inside-the-room moments I can reveal:
After the hearing started, the New York Times dropped its story about the grand jury subpoena of Bannon. Nobody in the room had their phones — it's the protocol in closed-door intelligence hearings — but an official walked in to inform the committee and Bannon's team of the story.
At that point, the committee paused its proceedings and there was a scramble to figure out how to proceed, and how to ensure they did everything properly insofar as the Mueller probe went. (The committee informed Mueller's team several days earlier that it was calling Bannon in as a witness, and they didn't hear back from Mueller's team so viewed that as a green light.)
Trey Gowdy, who led the Republican questioning, pressed Bannon hard on his description of Don Junior's Trump Tower meeting as "treasonous." Gowdy asked Bannon whether he would consider it treason for somebody close to him to approach Wikileaks' Julian Assange to get opposition research on Hillary Clinton. Bannon replied that such a scenario would be bad judgment. Then Gowdy produced emails from a Cambridge Analytica employee — the Trump campaign data firm closely affiliated with Bannon — boasting of just such contacts with Assange. Bannon claimed this was the first time he'd seen these emails (though they've been in the news.)
Bannon attacked the Republicans running these congressional committees for choosing to investigate the Trump campaign and Russia. He said it was part of an "establishment" plan to try to "nullify" the election result. Gowdy challenged him on that, asking Bannon who is this establishment you refer to who is trying to nullify Trump's victory? Bannon answered: Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Gowdy countered that Bannon couldn't have it both ways. Was he also referring to Trump confidant Kevin McCarthy — the leader of the Republican House conference — who is surely part of the same Ryan-McConnell "establishment?"
Another pointed question to Bannon: When he told author Michael Wolff there was a "zero" percent chance that Don Junior didn't bring the Russians up to see his father after their meeting, how did he know that happened? I'm told Bannon all but conceded he was purely speculating.
Throughout the hearing, Bannon kept telling the committee members: "I really want to answer this question," and "I really wish I could answer these questions." That became a sore point with members. They kept asking him why he felt liberated to abandon executive privilege and leak prolifically about the White House to journalists and author Wolff, but wouldn't talk to Congress.
Bannon, at one point, praised the committee members for the professionalism and preparedness. (But a source familiar with Bannon's thinking told me he made the compliment "tongue-in-cheek.")
Bannon admitted that he'd had conversations with Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer and legal spokesman Mark Corallo about Don Junior's infamous meeting with the Russians in Trump Tower in June 2016.
INDICTED Turkish Minister Former General Manager...GIULIANI?
Mueller has officially signed off on Bannon continuing to use this attorney during his upcoming interview, despite the fact that he also represents two other Trump-Russia clients.
This means Mueller is certain that the attorney in question is not doing Trump’s bidding. Yet this is the same attorney who kept calling someone after each questions asked by the House Intel Committee yesterday, in order to find out whether it should be answered. Yet at no point did Bannon or his attorney say that “executive privilege” was being invoked, instead referring to it more generically as a “gag order.” Now that we know Mueller has 100% trust in Bannon’s attorney, it’s fairly safe to assume that the attorney was in fact calling Mueller’s people during the hearings, not Trump’s people.
In other words, Steve Bannon has flipped on Donald Trump. Bannon’s attorney is already coordinating with Robert Mueller to make sure that the House Intel Committee, whose Republican leaders are Trump puppets, couldn’t get a preview of what Bannon is going to tell Mueller. If Bannon has flipped, then by definition, so have Reince Priebus and Don McGahn. This is remarkable, considering that McGahn is still working in Trump’s White House.
http://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/ba ... deal/7441/
Steve Bannon met with Mueller multiple times over the past week
by Hallie JacksonFeb 15 2018, 2:56 pm ET
WASHINGTON — Steve Bannon, who served as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller over multiple days this week, NBC News has learned from two sources familiar with the proceedings.
Bannon spent a total of some 20 hours in conversations with the team led by Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as other issues that have arisen around the probe.
Bannon left his job as a senior White House adviser in August and returned to a leadership role at Breitbart, the right-wing news site based out of Washington. But he fell out of favor with the site’s financial backers, the Mercer family, after criticizing the president and his family in "Fire and Fury,” a book about the Trump administration published earlier this year by author Michael Wolff.
Image: Former Trump Aide Steve Bannon On Capitol Hill To Talk To Lawmakers In Russia Investigation
Bannon arrives at a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images
After a more than four-week stalemate, Bannon also returned to Capitol Hill Thursday to resume his interview with the House Intelligence Committee, which was halted when he earlier refused to answer key questions in the Russia probe.
He left today after four hours, answering little more than the two dozen questions that the White House had negotiated with the House’s lead counsel.
Russia timeline: The key players, meetings and investigations
The committee had issued a subpoena in their initial Jan. 16 interview when Bannon would not address issues that arose during his time on the Trump transition team, in the White House and after he left his top position there. The subpoena deadline was postponed three times as House lawyers negotiated with the White House over what Bannon would be willing to discuss without the White House invoking executive privilege to bar the testimony.
Lawmakers indicated Thursday that his continued non-cooperation might require the committee to take the next step and consider beginning the process of holding Bannon in contempt of Congress.
“The only questions he would answer were questions that had been scripted, literally scripted for him by the White House,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, told reporters. “Whenever we sought to probe anything beyond the four corners of the specific wording of the question, he refused to answer. That’s not how executive privilege works.”
Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, the lead Republican on the committee’s Russia probe, said he would work with House Speaker Paul Ryan and House lawyers to further probe the executive privilege claims made Thursday and determine whether contempt proceedings were appropriate.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald ... ek-n848421
Exclusive: Rep. Adam Schiff Offers New Insight into Steve Bannon and the Democratic Memo
Schiff says Trump is "alarmed at what Bob Mueller is doing."
BY ANDREW COHEN
FEB 20, 2018
Rep. Adam Schiff seems ready to acknowledge the theory that Steve Bannon is trying to run out the clock on Capitol Hill lawmakers. Speaking to Esquire.com, the California Democrat said that the House Intelligence Committee has been somewhat tougher on Bannon than it has been with other former Trump aides called to testify in the Russia probe—namely Corey Lewandowski. But Schiff believes that Bannon has spoken instead to Robert Mueller and his investigators because he thinks he’d likely lose a legal showdown over executive privilege if he were to cross the special counsel.
“Steve Bannon apparently is a man without a country, neither in with the White House nor in with Breitbart, so the majority is willing to take him on in a way they have not been willing with other witnesses,” Schiff said.
“STEVE BANNON APPARENTLY IS A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY," -REP ADAM SCHIFF
Schiff also said that federal law enforcement officials and Congressional Democrats have made “a lot of progress” in the past week in their negotiations over the release of the Democratic response to the so-called "Nunes memo" and a deal could be announced within the next 24-to-48 hours. Less clear is whether that deal, if it comes to pass, will permit the public to finally view the Democratic memo, or whether it simply will be returned for another round of review by White House officials, who have previously blocked its publication.
When asked to respond to Schiff’s comments, Bannon spoke through his lawyer, William Burck. “The White House determined which of the Committee’s questions Mr. Bannon could and could not answer based on its view of the scope of the president’s claim of executive privilege,” Burck said in a statement to Esquire.com. “The Ranking Member should take up any disagreement he has with the White House’s position with the White House itself. Unless the White House changes their claim of executive privilege, Mr. Bannon will continue to respect the limits on his testimony by the White House to the Committee.”
Schiff ruled out the possibility, floated earlier this month, that he or another member of the Democratic caucus would read the memo on the floor of the House to ensure its contents are made public if the administration continues to block its publication. He said he hoped, at a minimum, that Democratic efforts to work through FBI and Justice Department officials in vetting the memo would preclude the White House from redacting material information for political purposes, which is the widespread claim against Rep. Devin Nunes, the committee chairman, whose memo selectively disclosed information about a pending FISA investigation.
“As the FISA applications are now public knowledge, as long as it doesn’t disclose sources or methods, our feeling is that it should be provided to the public. I think the FBI is very reluctant to declassify anything that is not already in the public realm. But there is a public interest in going beyond simply what’s classified,” Schiff said.
“With respect to the Congress, they hope to draw this out as long as possible. [Republicans] know their claim of privilege is farcically broad and will never hold up, but they think they can wear us down. And of course the noises that our majority makes from time to time about shutting down the investigation only give them heart. I mean, why cooperate any more than they have to?”
Schiff also responded to a report over the weekend that he has rattled President Trump.
“I am doing my job and clearly there is something in it that is threatening to the president, or at least he views it that way, and he’s even more alarmed at what Bob Mueller is doing,” Schiff said. “He seems to think that these playground bully tactics are going to work. They don’t work at all. They just steel people’s resolved to be more disciplined about their work.”
https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a ... stigation/