When you surround yourself with people just like you, it’s no wonder you demand loyalty pledges.
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House will be released next week. Here are some choice quotes:
Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon has described the Trump Tower meeting between the president’s son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”, according to an explosive new book seen by the Guardian.
Bannon, speaking to author Michael Wolff, warned that the investigation into alleged collusion with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering and predicted: “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
Treasonous and unpatriotic. Ouch. I knew firing Bannon was going to come back and haunt them. Like Trump, the guy comes off as a grudge holder – and it seems he isn’t over what went down with him and “Javanka”. That said, I agree that Don Junior will crack like an egg. Unless daddy can convince him to take the fall, because there’s zero chance little Donny didn’t run to daddy with his discoveries. One thing that’s crystal clear in that family is how desperate Trump’s sons are for daddy’s approval. Which Trump consistently withholds.
He is particularly scathing about a June 2016 meeting involving Trump’s son Donald Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in New York.
“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.
“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.” [emphasis mine]
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.”
The resounding theme: Trump and co. are stupid. “Trump is not spared. Wolff writes that Thomas Barrack Jr, a billionaire who is one of the president’s oldest associates, allegedly told a friend: “He’s not only crazy, he’s stupid.”
Bannon sure has a lot to say:
Bannon has criticised Trump’s decision to fire Comey. In Wolff’s book, obtained by the Guardian ahead of publication from a bookseller in New England, he suggests White House hopes for a quick end to the Mueller investigation are gravely misplaced.
“You realise where this is going,” he is quoted as saying. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose [senior prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared Kushner … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”
Bannon’s feud with Jared and Ivanka probably saved him from being at that Trump Tower meeting. And like his old boss, Bannon needs to tell everyone what he knows. Given Bannon’s quotes in the article are teasers, I can’t imagine what else the book contains.