Democrats say former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon should think twice before publishing classified and sensitive information through Breitbart News.
“Steve Bannon has an ongoing obligation to safeguard our nation’s secrets, and he does not gain some kind of extra Constitutional protection just because he is now returning to a position in the media,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) told McClatchy Tuesday.
“If he or anyone else in a similar position fails to meet the obligation and provides classified information to someone who is not entitled to have it, he could and should be brought to justice,” added Cummings, the House Oversight Committee’s ranking Democrat.
The press secretary for Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the Senate Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat, said Tuesday that Bannon has strict limitations outside the White House.
“Bannon is subject to all the same legal restrictions on sharing classified information to which he was exposed in his role at the White House as any other former government employee,” Rachel Cohen said. “Those who violate those restrictions could be subject to prosecution.”
The White House announced last Friday that Bannon would be leaving President Trump’s administration.
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“We are grateful for his service and wish him all the best,” she added of Bannon, who also served as the CEO of Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
Breitbart on Friday confirmed that Bannon had reclaimed his old title as the news outlet’s executive chairman hours after his White House exit.
Bannon told Bloomberg Friday that he plans on “going to war” with Trump’s enemies upon retaking Breitbart’s helm.
“If there’s any confusion out there, let me clear it up: I’m leaving the White House and going to war for Trump against his opponents – on Capitol Hill, in the media and in corporate America,” he said.
Bannon was initially considered one of Trump’s closest advisers, but reports this year have repeatedly described him in clashes with some of the president’s senior aides.
McClatchy reported that Bannon would know classified information about North Korea’s nuclear threat, Iran, and Islamic terrorism movements after his White House tenure.