In a new book, former Trump campaign manager and presidential strategist Steve Bannon is quoted as saying contacts the campaign had with Russian agents before his involvement were “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” singling out a meeting attended by the president’s son and son-in-law.
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 went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.
Bannon comparing Breitbart, his own media outlet, to “other more legitimate publications” is something of a buried lede. But it’s not as if anyone’s pretending otherwise.