Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has labeled a past meeting between President Trump’s eldest son and several Russians “treasonous,” according to The Guardian.
The Guardian on Wednesday reported Bannon derided the controversial huddle during the 2016 presidential election in a new book due out next week.
Donald Trump Jr. met Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya that June at Trump Tower in New York City.
The rendezvous was also attended by Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, and Paul Manafort, who was then the future president’s campaign manager.
“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 author Michael Wolff in the upcoming book. “They didn’t have any lawyers.”
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad sh-t, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Bannon’s remarks will appear in Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” upon its publication next week.
The Breitbart News chairman also predicted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will eventually focus on money laundering during his probe of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 race.
“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon said. “You realize where this is going.”
“This is all about money laundering,” he added. “Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy.”
“Their path to f----g [President] Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr. and Jared Kushner…It’s as plain as hair on your face.”
The Trump Tower meeting has come under scrutiny as an intermediary promised Donald Trump Jr. damaging information about 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump Jr. replied “I love it” during an email responding to the intermediary, but he has since insisted the meeting resulted in nothing consequential.
Mueller is investigating Russia’s inference in the 2016 presidential election, including possible collusion between Moscow and President Trump’s campaign.
President Trump has repeatedly called the probe a “witch hunt,” and he has also denied there was any collusion between his bid and Russia.