The Guardian reports that Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, contains explosive comments from Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist, about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. “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,” Bannon told Wolff. “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.”
This might seem like a damning admission on Bannon’s part, but is actually a part of the ongoing intramural battle in Trump world. Bannon, the CEO of Breitbart, has a longstanding hatred of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, who is often blamed for derailing Trump’s nationalist and populist policies. In his comments to Wolff, Bannon isn’t expressing horror at treason, but suggesting that Kushner and company were too stupid to do it properly. Bannon even suggests that campaign collusion with Russia could have worked if there were proper cut-outs:
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 added: “You never see it, you never know it, because you don’t need to … But that’s the brain trust that they had.”
Bannon is speaking as a disgruntled former employee, making the case that he would not have screwed up as much as the guys who still work in the White House have.