Bannon says meeting involving Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and Russians was 'treasonous' and 'unpatriotic'
- Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said a July 2016 meeting involving senior adviser Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and Russians, was "treasonous" and "unpatriotic."
- The comments came in a soon-to-be-released, highly anticipated book on the Trump White House.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon unloaded on White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and President Donald Trump's eldest son Donald Trump Jr. in a soon-to-be-published book.
In "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, which is reportedly based on more than 200 interviews with the president and those close to him, Bannon zeroed in on the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting in particular, which was attended by Kushner, Trump Jr, and Russians. Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting on the premise that the Russians had damaging information on 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, but Trump Jr. insisted that no consequential information was exchanged."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 said, according to The Guardian. "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."
He added that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia will focus on money laundering, predicting that investigators are "going to crack Don Jr. like an egg on national TV."
At the time of the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting, Bannon was not yet a member of the campaign.
Now back as the top executive at Breitbart News, Bannon said that if such a meeting needed to take place, Trump Jr. and Kushner should have set it up "in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people," adding that information obtained should have then been "dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication."
It's not the first instance of Bannon pointing the finger at the Trump family for the president's Russia problems.
In a Vanity Fair profile published last month, Bannon blamed Kushner for taking meetings during the campaign with Russians that made it appear as if Trump wanted help from Russian President Vladimir Putin."He's taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff," Bannon told Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman. "This tells you everything about Jared. They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That's his maturity level."
The animosity between Bannon, Kushner, and Ivanka Trump, herself a top White House official, is focused on heavily in Wolff's book.
Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, said, "It is a war between the Jews and the non-Jews."