Look, nobody was more surprised about any of this than I was. Here I thought Bannon was on the Russian payroll all along. The entire Breitbart operation certainly fits into that kind of scenario. Of course, if you think about this a bit, perhaps he still is. Maybe Vlad Putin is finding the Orange Wonder a little tiresome lately. That he has outlived his modest period of usefulness, and needs to be put out to pasture. Or, better yet, imprisoned. A little regime change on the right might appeal to the GOP's man from Moscow right now. With the more collateral damage, the better.
But those are just my opinions. There has been quite a bit of press on this matter over the last 24 hours. Here is what I hope is an informative sampling.
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, reportedly based on more than 200 interviews with the president, his inner circle and players in and around the administration, is one of the most eagerly awaited political books of the year. In it, Wolff lifts the lid on a White House lurching from crisis to crisis amid internecine warfare, with even some of Trump’s closest allies expressing contempt for him.
Bannon, who was chief executive of the Trump campaign in its final three months, then White House chief strategist for seven months before returning to the rightwing Breitbart News, is a central figure in the nasty, cutthroat drama, quoted extensively, often in salty language.
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.”
According to an except of Wolff’s upcoming book seen by The Guardian, Bannon believes that Mueller’s team is going to focus on alleged money laundering operations that are conducted at Trump properties around the world — and that’s bad news for members of the Trump family.
“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon reportedly told Wolff.
Bannon also reportedly mocked Trump Jr. for agreeing to take a meeting with Russian officials at Trump Tower based on promises that they could deliver damaging information on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
“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 said of the meeting. “But that’s the brain trust that they had.”
The book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, is based on hundreds of interviews, including ones with President Donald Trump and his inner circle. According to The Guardian, Bannon addressed the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Russian operatives that was arranged when Trump Jr. agreed to meet a "Russian government attorney" after receiving an email offering him "very high level and sensitive information" that would "incriminate" Clinton.
Bannon also reportedly told Wolff: "They're going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV." Bannon also reportedly told Wolff that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russia is centered on money laundering, saying that the White House is "sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five" hurricane.
White House Not Prepared for Bannon Remarks (Taegan Goddard's Political Wire link): Bannon’s comments won’t surprise anyone who’s spoken to him, but as on the record statements they are shocking sources close to the president. The White House was prepared for the Wolff book to be bad for them — and sources there have told me he spent a ton of time in the building visiting with Bannon — but they weren’t prepared for Bannon doing this.”
“Bannon touched the third rail of Trumpworld — going after the president’s blood family.”
Excerpt from Fire and Fury, here's Trump on his friends' wives
Mod: Truly, a more charming man there has never ever been. Here's some Fox news.
Michael Wolff’s book is called Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and details a myriad of behind-the-scenes stories regarding the current White House and America’s controversial leader from Election Night 2016 until this past October. Mr. Murdoch reportedly made the comment during a phone call on 16 December 2016, about one month before Mr. Trump took office.
Those on the call were discussing Mr. Trump’s strategy towards H1B visa holders, a special category that allows select immigrants to stay in the country largely working in the technology sector and Silicon Valley.
Mr. Murdoch allegedly suggested that it might be difficult to reconcile the administration’s stance on building a roughly 2,000-mile long wall along the US-Mexico border with a favourable, more open stance towards H1B-based immigration.
“But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, ‘We’ll figure it out.’ ‘What a f****** idiot,’ said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone,” wrote Mr Wolff in the book.
The letter comes after excerpts from a forthcoming book by journalist Michael Wolff were made public Wednesday, causing a stir. Trump attorney Charles J. Harder of the firm Harder Mirell & Abrams LLP, said in a statement, "This law firm represents President Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. On behalf of our clients, legal notice was issued today to Stephen K. Bannon, that his actions of communicating with author Michael Wolff regarding an upcoming book give rise to numerous legal claims including defamation by libel and slander, and breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients. Legal action is imminent."
Mod: "Litigation is imminent." Oh really? Then let the depositions begin!