Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon referred to Trump’s 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower as both “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” in a highly anticipated new book by Michael Wolff.
The book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, was seen exclusively by The Guardian and is reportedly based on over 200 interviews with the president, his inner circle and other prominent figures around the administration.
Bannon played a pivotal role in the administration, also acting as chief executive of the Trump campaign in its last three months, and after his brief, seven-month role as White House chief strategist, he returned to Breitbart News, the far-right online news source known for its circulation of right-wing conspiracy theories and its ties to the “alt right.”
Referring to that now-infamous Trump Tower meeting, Wolff writes that Bannon remarked, “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.”
Wolff also writes that Bannon was critical of Trump’s firing of the FBI’s James Comey and discounted Trump’s suggestion that the Russia investigation will amount to nothing and will be over soon. Bannon is quoted as saying, “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 … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”
Bannon later made reference to last month’s report that federal prosecutors had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, the German financial institution that has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Kushner property empire. He reportedly said, “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.”
Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, will be published next week. Wolff is a well-known media critic and columnist who has written for The Guardian. Wolff told The Guardian in November that he showed up at the White House with no agenda but wanted to “find out what the insiders were really thinking and feeling.”