Any hope that we had yesterday, that Steve Bannon’s anti-Trump comments were a simple misunderstanding, can likely go out the window today.
In a series of new Bannon revelations we learn some hard things about the inner workings of the Trump campaign and about what one of the leaders in the Trump team actually think about what took place.
Michael Wolff is that author of the upcoming book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, for which he got some very interesting quotes from the former Chief Strategist for Team Trump. Including this bombshell about Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in the summer of 2016.
The meeting was revealed by the New York Times in July last year, prompting Trump Jr to say no consequential material was produced. Soon after, Wolff writes, Bannon remarked mockingly: “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 shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Bannon went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.
Bannon may be a bit over the top with the “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” commentary. Campaigns hold meetings like this all of the time, except they usually pass the job off to low-level staffers or employees for the DNC or RNC. So, “stupid,” and “foolish” would have probably been more accurate.
But that still doesn’t remove the sting of Bannon’s attack. It also means that there were folks on the Trump team who recognized that the way they were handling some of their duties was not only unwise but it could likely create legal problems for them in the future.
Bannon didn’t stop with criticizing the meeting, in fact, he went further and argued that it would be the cause of the eventual downfall of Donald Trump, Jr. and his brother-in-law Jared Kushner.
Bannon believes that special counsel Robert Mueller will keep hammering away at Trump, Jr. and Kushner, and that both men will eventually crack. Kushner’s background, according to Bannon, contains much fodder for Mueller and his team and they’ll use it to break the President’s son-in-law.
Bannon saves all of his best stuff for Kushner, quite literally calling his involvement with the Russia scandal “greasy.”
“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 said. “It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”
“It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that. They’re going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me.”
Bannon does generally avoid attacking the President directly, but he’s growing ever more bold in his attacks on the rest of the administration. Among the quotes in the upcoming book is one that explains how Bannon views the work being done by the people around President Trump.
Bannon’s scorn for the administration he left behind, aside from its leader, is palpable, especially when he describes their strategy, thus far, for dealing with the Mueller investigation.
“They’re sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five.”
Like I said earlier… Yikes!