Former White House chief strategist and former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon has made a deal to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller regarding Russia’s interference into the 2016 election. What this means is anyone’s guess, but given the very public falling out between Bannon and his political protege Donald Trump, it could mean he could have his ultimate revenge.
Bannon will be discussing his time with the Trump campaign in 2016 and at the White House as Chief Strategist directly with Mueller and his team. He will not have to submit to questioning in front of a grand jury, despite the fact that Mueller team had obtained a subpoena to force Bannon to testify after he refused to cooperate willingingly. According to Axios, Bannon “intends to fully cooperate with Mueller”:
Steve Bannon, who was inside the White House when FBI Director James Comey was fired and has strong opinions about what happened, “intends to fully cooperate with Mueller,” according to a source familiar with Bannon’s thinking.
The source told Axios’ Jonathan Swan that the White House has placed zero restrictions on Bannon talking to special counsel Bob Mueller: “He can say whatever the hell he wants to say to him about whatever topic that he wants.”
This is potentially a huge problem for Donald Trump for a number of reasons. Bannon has lost pretty much everything — from being booted out of the White House to losing his gig at Breitbart.com and his billionaire backers, Bannon is a man without a political or financial home. The movement he ran disowned him as quickly as Donald Trump turned on his former wives, which is to say rapidly and without remorse. Bannon has flailed around in the press trying to make amends and claim he is still going to bat for Trump, but he has no credibility left anywhere.
Bannon is an egomaniac with severe delusions of grandeur. Without power he is incredibly dangerous as it means he will likely go to any lengths to regain it. He was willing to back and alleged child molester for the US Senate to continue his war on the GOP establishment and had no qualms supporting Trump who has a history of sexual violence and predatory behavior. Bannon is an incredibly nasty piece of work and has aligned himself with the very worst people in American politics. He plays dirty and has no moral compass to restrict his behavior. He will turn on Trump just as Trump turned on him without remorse and without any sense of betrayal.
What could Bannon tell Mueller? Bannon has already spilled his guts to Michael Wolff for his book “Fire and Fury” accusing Donald Trump Jr. of treason and disparaging Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. If he’ll spill the Trump administration’s dirtiest secrets to a magazine journalist there’s no telling what he’ll say to Mueller or what nuggets of information he’ll give him.
“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,” Wolff quotes Bannon saying in Fire and Fury. “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 F.B.I. immediately.” Bannon also told Wolff that the chance Trump Jr. did not involve president Trump in the meeting is “zero.”
That Bannon refused to initially cooperate with the Mueller investigation may well have been a ruse. Bannon may have wanted to appear like he wasn’t playing ball with the FBI, knowing full well they would issue a subpoena to force him to talk. This is of course speculation, but Banonn is as devious as the come and he may well be in the process of exacting a very spectacular revenge on the man who banished him from his own political movement.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.