Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon called the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between a number of high-ranking Trump campaign officials and a Kremlin-connected attorney “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” in an interview included in an upcoming book on the Trump White House.
Bannon, who was dismissed from his role seven months after Trump took office, told author Michael Wolff the meeting between Donald Trump Jr., former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, White House advisor Jared Kushner and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya was at the very least ill advised.
“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,” Bannon told Wolff in an interview for his upcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” obtained by The Guardian.
“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.”
The Trump Tower meeting, which was first exposed by The New York Times in July 2017, was prompted by an offer of “incriminating” information related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made to the Trump campaign by an intermediary, on behalf of the Russian government. Trump Jr., who replied “I love it,” when contacted with the offer of damaging information, immediately downplayed the incident in the wake of TheNYT report, maintaining no consequential information was revealed.
Bannon added that if the meeting had to take place, it should have been “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people.”