Former White House strategist Steve Bannon called a Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” according to a new book about President Trump’s first year in office.
Bannon said special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia will “crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
Bannon made the comments to author Michael Wolff for his new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which was obtained by the Guardian before its release next week.
Trump’s son, son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York in June 2016 during the presidential campaign.
The meeting came under scrutiny after an intermediary promised documents that would be damaging to rival Hillary Clinton. “I love it,” Trump Jr. replied in an email.
“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,” Bannon told Wolff. “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 expects Mueller’s investigation will focus on money laundering.
“You realize where this is going,” Bannon said. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [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.”
Four members of the Trump campaign have been indicted, including Manafort. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges brought by Mueller late last year.
The president and his allies have denied any collusion.