The wheels may be coming off the cart. And it does not look good for Donald Trump Jr. Steve Bannon did not mince his words of contempt for the President's son in Michael Wolff's new book. Could this be the reason Bannon believes Trump only stands a 30% chance of finishing his first term? Bannon had much to say.
He is particularly scathing about a June 2016 meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York. A trusted intermediary had promised documents that would “incriminate” rival Hillary Clinton but instead of alerting the FBI to a potential assault on American democracy by a foreign power, Trump Jr replied in an email: “I love it.”
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 had some criticisms for his friend, the President as well.
In Wolff’s book, obtained by the Guardian ahead of publication from a bookseller in New England, he suggests White House hopes for a quick end to the Mueller investigation are gravely misplaced.
“You realise where this is going,” he 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.”
Steve Bannon was on the inside and based on his rhetoric it seems he kept himself in the clear. The surrounding cast of amateurs seemed to have dug themselves their graves.
Last month it was reported 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. Bannon continues: “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.”
Scorning apparent White House insouciance, Bannon reaches for a hurricane metaphor: “They’re sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five.”
He insists that he knows no Russians, will not be a witness, will not hire a lawyer and will not appear on national television answering questions.
Yesterday I posted a blog titled "Trump not smart enough to realize GOP establishment using him" about the GOP using Trump's ignorance to move the GOP's draconian Ayn Randian policies forward. If Bannon's utterances are correct, which they likely are, they can forget any possibility of attaining any of their goals. And that would be a good thing. A 2018 blue wave can undo some of the damage in 2019 and full recovery with a presidential win in 2020. But the work must start now and be ongoing.
Also published on Medium.