If Donald Trump said it once, he said it a hundred times:
“I have the best people … ”
It was one of his mantras, and one of his key qualifications for office, as far as most of his voters were concerned. He claimed that the people that he knew from the vaunted business world were somehow inherently better, more capable, more efficient, more productive than the career government slugs that have been gumming up the works for decades.
But now we’re more than a year into the Great Orange-o-tang’s administration, during which most of their energy was spent not succeeding at repealing Obamacare, nor “fixing” Immigration, nor addressing national cybersecurity concerns then taking sick cynical credit for all the benefits of the amazing economic recovery, drop in unemployment and stock market rise that was painfully and painstakingly built by the Obama administration against dogged Republican opposition and obstruction for the previous 8 years.
Most of Trump’s time and energy has been spent on defenestrating his office staff one by one, hunting for leakers, and complaining about the “deep state.” It certainly hasn’t been the model of hyper-productivity that was promised and advertised.
Here’s a nauseating look at his roster of winners.
Vice President Mike Pence
The Golden Boy of the Christian hard-right, Mike Pence hasn’t exactly been a shining example of integrity.
After many years in the Congress as one of the primary spokesman of the Tea Party Conservative Movement Mike Pence ran for Indiana Governor on a platform that supported, among other full on wing-nut positions, gay conversation therapy.
Mr. Pence’s spokesman, Marc Lotter, denied to The Times over the weekend that the vice president-elect supports the practice, saying a past campaign statement had been misinterpreted. But L.G.B.T. groups remain skeptical, pointing tohis record of opposition to gay rights as a member of Congress and as governor of Indiana and an approving reference to conversion therapy in the 2016 Republican Party platform.
A statement on an archived version of the website for Mr. Pence’s 2000 congressional campaign has been widely interpreted as signaling his support for conversion therapy. After listing his opposition to same-sex marriage and anti-discrimination laws that protect gay people, Mr. Pence’s website takes up the issue of the Ryan White Care Act, which provides federal funding for H.I.V./AIDS patients and was reauthorized by Congress that year:
Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.
Mr. Pence had not addressed speculation about his support for conversion therapy until last weekend, when Mr. Lotter told The Times it was “patently false” that Mr. Pence “supported or advocated” the practice.
So on top of being a thinly veiled homophobe bigot, Pence is also a liar.
Just two days after WikiLeaks sent direct messages via Twitter to Donald Trump Jr., which included a fast-search link that he dutifully reposted to his followers, Pence went on Fox and Friends to deny that Trump campaign was in cahoot” with WikiLeaks—which was a lie.
While he was chanting “Lock her up!” about Hillary Clinton’s private email problems, Pence himself was using AOL for his official email account as governor of Indiana, and his account had been hacked.
In November 2016, House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Pence about Michael Flynn’s op-ed and his lobbying for Turkey. In December, Flynn’s lawyers also informed the transition team that he might have to register as a foreign agent because of his work for Turkey. He was named national security adviser anyway.
In January 2017, Mike Pence went on Meet the Press after talking personally to Flynn and claimed, “Flynn told me he didn’t talk to Russia about sanctions.” Flynn was ultimately fired, allegedly for lying to Pence.
In March 2017, white house press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed the White House was aware of Flynn’s links to Turkey, arguing that it was “not a question of it raising a red flag.” But that same day Pence—who as head of the Trump Transition Team was informed about this by Rep. Cummings and Flynn’s lawyers, specifically—was also asked about Flynn receiving payments from Turkey and answered, “This is the first I’ve heard of it …” (Uh, then how exactly does Spicey know about it?)
When Trump asked Stephen Miller to draft a multi-page letter detailing a long list of complaints about FBI Director James Comey to justify his firing, including the Russia problem and his failure to say Trump isn’t under investigation, White House counsel Don McGahn said the letter was “problematic” and it got spiked. Pence, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus, and Hope Hicks were all present for this meeting. However, when asked about it later, Pence echoed the “Rosenstein did it” line—even though he was at the Miller letter meeting, and knew better.
Besides having absolutely no previous government experience, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner really can’t keep his personal business interests away from his government job. Son of a billonaire real estate magnate Charles Kushner who was so pampered he couldn’t even get into Harvard on his own steam.
My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their under-achieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5 million to Harvard University in 1998, not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school. At the time, Harvard accepted about one of every nine applicants. (Nowadays, it only takes one out of twenty.)
I also quoted administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less than stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision.
“There was no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard,” a former official at The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, told me. “His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not.”
And then Jared was thrust into the lead position in his family business after his father Charles was sent to federal prison for two years in 2005 over attempted witness tampering and campaign finance violations.
NEWARK, March 4 – Charles Kushner, a multimillionaire real estate executive, philanthropist and one of the top Democratic donors in the country, was sentenced on Friday to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations.
Mr. Kushner, 50, built a construction business begun by his father into a private real estate empire that owned more than 25,000 apartments, millions of square feet of commercial and industrial space and thousands of acres of developable land.
But Mr. Kushner also became embroiled in a bitter family feud over the business and how proceeds were distributed. That dispute, plus his growing prominence as a political financier, helped lead to his downfall. The intrafamily acrimony was such that Mr. Kushner retaliated against his brother-in-law, who was cooperating with federal authorities, by hiring a prostitute to seduce him. He then arranged to have a secretly recorded videotape of the encounter sent to his sister, the man’s wife.
The prosecutor in that federal case was eventually New Jersey Governor and ex-Trump transition lead — Chris Christie.
In 2010, Manhattan’s Major Economic Crimes Bureau began investigating the Bayrock/Trump Soho project for fraudulent claims exaggerating its value and sales by four times the real numbers. Emails belonging to Don Jr., Kushner, and Ivanka Trump show they were all aware of the fraud and discussed keeping it secret. Also, 77 percent of Trump Soho properties have been purchased in cash by secretive shell companies, which is a potential indication of money laundering.
In 2011, another suit against the Trump Soho joint venture condo project by Trump and Bayrock was filed for defrauding buyers with their inflated claims. The suit was settled with a payout of $3.19 million, and a potential criminal case was avoided.
in 2012, Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance overruled his office’s plans to file criminal fraud charges against Jared and Ivanka for false claims made about Trump’s Soho property. The case was dropped after attorney Marc Kasowitz donated $25,000 to the office, but Vance claimed it was closed “on the merits.”
In September 2016, after WikiLeaks first sent a DM to Don Jr., he sent an email about it to Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Jared Kushner. Kushner forwarded a copy to Hope Hicks, which back then was the quickest way to have the information shared with Trump, since she would usually print out his emails for him.
In October 2016, the Kushner Co. received a $285 million loan from Deutsche Bank for their Times Square building, which was facing charges for not stopping Russian money-laundering on the premises.
in December 2016, during a meeting with Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Kushner suggested setting up a secure back-channel with the Kremlin, using Russian facilities that could “bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy.” Kislyak was reportedly “taken aback” and discounted the idea. He instead suggested having an overseas meeting, but Flynn was considered too high profile to attend.
At Kislyak’s suggestion, Kushner later met with banker and FSB Academy graduate Sergei Gorkov, who is head of Moscow-based, government-owned bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), which funds special projects like the Sochi Olympics and Trump Tower in Toronto. The bank had included Russian intelligence officer Evgeny Buryakov on its payroll, who was convicted in March 2016 by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of conspiracy in a case involving the attempted cultivation of Trump adviser Carter Page as an Russian asset. Gorkov is also former deputy board chairman of Russia’s largest state-owned bank, Sberank, which had hired Trump’s attorney’s Marc Kasowitz to defend it.
In December 2016, Jared Kushner bragged to Forbes magazine about the data-mining and voter micro-targeting operation he helped setup for the Trump campaign with Cambridge Analytica, which is owned by deep-pocketed Trump pal Robert Mercer, who also bankrolls Breitbart News.
Again in December, as noted in the the Flynn plea agreements, Egypt submitted a UN resolution on the Israeli settlements. “A very senior member” of Trump’s transition team [Kushner] “instructed” Flynn to “contact officials from foreign government, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.” All of this was a potential Logan Act violation, since Trump hadn’t been inaugurated yet.
Later in December, Flynn called Trump-owned resort Mar-a-Lago to discusses his contacts with Kislyak with “senior Trump transition officials” [Kushner] who encouraged him to continue, and said that they “did not want to escalate the Russia situation.”
In January 2017, still before the inauguration, Kushner attended a meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan along with Flynn and Bannon to discuss Flynn’s nuclear power plant “Marshall Plan,” which included a sanctioned Russian security company.
Later in January Erik Prince, former CEO of Blackwater, giant Christian supremacist, Mike Pence supporter, and brother of then-education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, had a secret meeting with the United Arab Emirates on the Seychelles islands to establish a back channel to Putin. This was noticed by the FBI. That meeting was chaired by the crown prince of the UAE, who had previously met secretly with Bannon, Flynn, and Kushner in New York and seemed to be a follow-up to Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak at Trump Tower. Erik Prince also met with sanctioned Russian investment CEO Kirill Dimitriev during the trip. He later claimed to the House Intelligence Committee that this was just an “informal” meeting, but UAE representative George Nader says that it was done to create Kushner’s “back-channel” to Russia. Nader was granted immunity by special counsel Robert Mueller and became a cooperating witness, potentially indicating that Prince committed perjury before the committee.
Kushner turned in his SF86 Security Clearance forms, and didn’t include any of these meetings on them. He claims this was a mistake by his assistant, who accidentally submitted the forms before they were completed, but he ultimately re-submitted them three more times and increased his number of foreign contacts from zero to more than 100.
In April 2017, Kushner met with the Qatari finance minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi to secure funding for his building project at 666 Park Ave. After he was turned down, Qatar was blockaded diplomatically by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who were advised in this action by Kushner. This advice was in opposition to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who became furious with Kushner for meddling in foreign policy matters.
Jared Kushner also held meetings inside the West Wing during the transition with investment companiesthat soon afterward offered loans to his familie’s companies totaling over $500 million.
In May 2017, Trump began a golfing vacation at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course, during which he discussed firing James Comey with Bannon, Kushner, and Stephen Miller, who all supported the idea.
Later in May Kushner’s sister used Trump’s image at a seminar in Beijing that hawks American EB-5 Visas to Chinese investors. Reporters were ushered out of the room as the Kushners claimed, “This is not the story we want.” Eventually the Kushner Companies apologized.
Despite being given the mandate to solve world peace, fix Israel and Palestine, do infrastructure, improve government efficiency, implement a new energy plan, fix the opioid problem, and fly a rocket ship to Mars, incessant White House leaks indicate that Kushner is an entitled whiner who skips town whenever there’s bad news and slacks off on jobs he’s not interested in.
Kushner was in the room when McGhan shot down Stephen Miller’s original “this is why we fire Comey” letter. Kushner reportedly supported the firing, saying it would be a “political win.” Preibus and Bannon were against it, saying it would cause a “political firestorm.” (Guess who was right about that?)
By the end of May the FEC, piqued by the Time report from May 18, considered an investigation into whether Russia illegally paid for Facebook ads and whether this was coordinated with Kushner’s voter micro-targeting with Cambridge Analytica in support of Trump. (Computer says: YES!)
On July 24, 2017, Kushner released an 11-page statement prior to his speaking to the Senate Intelligence Committee staff behind closed doors:
- He denies colluding with Russians or discussing campaign issues. (Should we ask Alexander Nix about that?)
- He says he tried to get out of the Veselnitskaya meeting and never fully read the email or apparently the subject line “Hillary — Russia — Sensitive and Confidential.” (But he still showed up, didn’t he?) He arrived at the meeting late and the topic at the time was “Russian adoptions.” He didn’t see that as being relevant and emailed his assistant to call him in order to give him an excuse to leave. “Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.” He says he didn’t remember anything about the meeting and had disclosed it on his forms prior to it reaching the press.
- He says his SF86 form was accidentally submitted without being completed when his assistant mistook the completion of one section to mean the entire form was complete. [Aren’t these supposed to be signed when submitted, certifying that they’re fully complete?] All contacts with foreign nations were originally omitted, not just Russians.
- He reveals that he received an email that was clearly an extortion attempt by “Guccifer400” that threatened to reveal Trump’s tax returns. He thought it was a hoax, and referred it to Secret Service. [That should have gone to FBI; Secret Service protects you from physical threats and counterfeiters. They don’t pursue blackmail or extortion.]
- He says he only talked to Kislyak for “about a minute” at the Mayflower Hotel, simply to exchange pleasantries, and denies the Reuters report that he had two phone calls with Kislyak between April and November, saying he searched his phone records and couldn’t find any numbers associated with the ambassador. “I doubt these calls took place.” [I think the NSA could tell you something different.]
- He says he tried to setup a secure back-channel to the Kremlin in order to discuss the war in Syria with Russian “generals.” This was an idea that came from Kislyak, but was not about sanctions. Flynn said such a secure channel didn’t exist and Kushner asked if one existed in the Russian embassy. [This doesn’t explain why he wanted the U.S. Intel community cut out of the loop, since they have to implement Syria policy anyway and the people who really don’t need to know is ISIS. Plus this was in December and January while they were all still “private citizens” (Logan Act) and long before there were allegations of “wiretaps,” “unmasking,” or “leaks” coming from U.S. intel. So, what gives?]
- Kislyak kept pestering him for continued meetings which he didn’t have time for and turned down, until finally sending his assistant. Then he agreed to meet VEB’s Gorkov because “he had a direct link to Putin.” He says they didn’t discuss sanctions or business or really anything other than “wanting better relations.”
- He never mentions or explains his meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi which he attended with Steve Bannon following his meeting with Gorkov to further discuss Russia relations, or the follow-up meeting to that between the crown prince and Eric Prince of Blackwater in the Seychelles Islands.
In August Bloomberg reported that Kushner’s Fifth Avenue office building was hemorrhaging cash and he needed $1.2 billion, stat. He owed $285 million to Deutsche Bank and another $250 million to investors in China, which may have been prompting his family’s Chinese Cash for Visas program and other grifter schemes from inside the White House.
By November Vanity Fair reported that Kushner had lost all his clout in the White House since he advised firing Comey and backing Luther Strange over Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. He was no longer handling government re-invention, the opioid epidemic, trade negotiations with China, or reforming the VA, and is now only focused on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. Trump was reportedly pushing for him and Ivanka to move back to New York, away from the Washington spotlight.
This year: Kushner’s security clearance was finally downgraded from “Top Secret/Special Access” to just “Secret” following the Rob Porter scandal.
In March, the SEC dropped a probe into Apollo Global Managementafter it had agreed to approve $180 million in loans to Kushner properties.
In January 2018 it was reported that Deutsche Bank was investigating Kushner for questionable bank transactions and that they had referred those transactions they deemed “suspicious” to Germany’s Federal Financial Advisory Authority, as well as the Mueller investigation.
Also in January Newsweek reported that the FBI shared concerns about Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife Wendi Deng Murdoch with Jared and Ivanka (who is best friends with Deng) that she may be an asset and operative of Chinese intelligence. Meanwhile the Kushner Company tried to get Chinese investors to pump $400 million into their troubled tower at 666 Park Ave., in a deal which ultimately fell through.
China, Mexico, the UAE, and Israel have all claimed to have methods to manipulate Jared Kushner due to his financial issues and fucking incompetence on Foreign Policy. [What, not Russia?]
Also, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reportedly bragged about having White House senior counsel Jared Kushner “in his pocket” and may have used highly sensitive intelligence from the President’s Daily Briefing in his violent crackdown on dissent in Saudi Arabia.
Steven Bannon former Navy Officer, Goldman Sachs executive, TV producer who still receives residual checks from Seinfield, filmmaker who produced the haliographic documented Sarah Palin: Undefeated after she was and John McCain were actually defeated in the 2008 Presidential race also seems to his own problems with domestic violence.
On New Year’s Day, 1996, future Trump campaign chair Steve Bannon was charged with three misdemeanor counts of domestic violence by the Santa Monica police. The charges were eventually dropped when his then-wife did not appear at the trial. On the day that she called the police to her house, however, she told them that at the beginning of their relationship, there had been “3-4 arguments that became physical,” according to thepolice report. They had gone to counseling, though, and she told police that there had “not been any physical abuse in their arguments for about the past four years”—until the violent altercation that day.
And there was his anti-semitism which he displayed when he objected to his daughter attending a school full of “whiny jews” which is an issue that came up when he was selected as a senior advisor for Trump.
The incoming president’s future right hand man complained that there were too many Jewish students at the Archer School for Girls, an elite private school in Los Angeles because many Jewish students were enrolled at the elite institution.
“The biggest problem he had with Archer is the number of Jews that attend,” Bannon’s ex-wife Mary Louise Piccard said in a 2007 court declaration during their contentious divorce.The outrageous comments were first reported by the New York Daily News.
“He said that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews,” Piccard wrote.
Bannon complained that another elite school had too “many Hanukkah books” in its library.
Bannon denies making the remarks and pointed out that his daughter wound up attending the Archer school.
And then there is Bannon’s long time promotion of what I think could best be called “Citizen Supremacy” as he has championed the causes and highlighted the outlook of the so-called “Alt-Right” movement.
Thealt right is a loose network of individuals and groups that promote white identity and reject mainstream conservatism in favor of politics that embrace implicit or explicit racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy. Often by leveraging social media and the Internet, alt right adherents express opposition to multiculturalism, immigration and often claim that there is a Jewish conspiracy to advocate for “white genocide.”
Bannon “proudly” told a reporter at the 2016 Republican National Convention “we’re the platform for the alt right.” In the same interview in Mother Jones magazine, he denied that the alt right is inherently racist or anti-Semitic, although a vast majority of people affiliated with that movement hold racist and anti-Semitic views.
In addition, under Bannon, Breitbart News published an article co-authored by Milo Yiannopoulos, a figure who is associated with the alt right, that played down the racism of some of the alt right’s main ideologues. In The Daily Beast in August 2016, alt right figure Richard Spencer, said: “Breitbart has elective affinities with the alt-right and the alt-right has clearly influenced Breitbart. In this way, Breitbart has acted as a ‘gateway’ to alt-right ideas and writers.” Bannon has also been embraced by white supremacists for his views in recent days.
in 2014 Steve Bannon, besides working with Breitbart, was on the board of directors for Cambridge Analytica while they hoovered up the personal data of 50 million Americans from Facebook.
According to whistleblower Chris Wylie, Bannon—who helped launch the controversial data collection firm—was “deeply involved in the company’s strategy and approved spending nearly $1 million to acquire data, including Facebook profiles, in 2014,” the Post reports.
Wylie told the Post Bannon and billionaire donor Rebekah Mercer both participated in circa-2014 conference calls during which the company’s plans to collect troves of data on Facebook users were discussed.
Bannon “approved the data-collection scheme we were proposing,” Wylie told the Post. The former Breitbart executive chairman would later receive “more than $125,000 in consulting fees from Cambridge Analytica” and an ownership stake in the company worth “between $1 million and $5 million,” the Post reports.
As Wylie previously told CNN, Cambridge Analyticabegan testing sloganslike “drain the swamp” and “deep state” in 2014, as a part of a voter persuasion effort championed by Bannon. Bannon would go on to become a top adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—which built its message around many of the same messages Cambridge Analytica helped define.
Trump eventually hired Cambridge-Analytica for their data-mining operations and soon after Alexander Nix of CA reached out to Julian Assange for copies of Hillary’s deleted emails. Whistleblower Wylie has also recounted how Cambridge Analytica’s data-mining algorithms were custom built to the specifications of Russian Oil Company Lukoil to target American Voters, although there’s pretty much no valid business interest for a Russian Oil company to have an impact on U.S. Voters—unless it’s not really the oil company that was making the request. [Can you say: Putin??]
Bannon was on the email chain about Don Jr. being contacted by WikiLeaks during the campaign, so he knew Pence was lying about it.
During the transition Steve Bannon joined Flynn and Kushner for a separate meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who made an undisclosed visit to New York. That meeting was tracked by U.S. surveillance and later unmasked by Susan Rice.
Bannon was there for the meeting with King Abdullah along with Flynn and Kushner to discuss the nuclear power plan deal.
For some reason, in January 2017, Trump signed an executive order that placed Steve Bannon on the principles committee of the National Security Council, while the DNI and head of the Joint Chiefs were relegated to “part time” participants. Eventually when Flynn’s replacement H.R. McMaster took over, this was reversed.
When Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation Trump blew his top that weekend, screamed at his staff, then threw Priebus and Bannon off Air Force One for his weekly Mar-a-Lago trip.
Bannon initially supported the firing of James Comey, and later opposed it.
In June 2017 Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub criticized the ethics waivers issued to WH personnel because they were missing dates and signatures. Some are also written to be “retroactive to Jan 20th” including for Bannon, who continued to work with Breitbart News.
For a while Sean Spicer stopped doing live video briefings, perhaps to spare himself from the constant pummeling. Later in June Bannon said the reason Spicer no longer did his briefings on camera was “Sean got fatter.” Which is ironic for a guy who’s fatter than Spicer and didn’t explain why he wouldn’t allow the audio to be recorded either. Eventually Spicer quit, or was fired—no one really knows, since he wasn’t speaking on camera anymore.
In August alt-right and Russian bots began relentlessly attacking NSA chief McMaster, arguing that he should be fired for something or the other. The Daily Beast reported that this is apparently payback from Bannon for the firing of his deputies Cohen-Watnick and Col. Darek Harvey. [So um … about that burying the lede thing: Bannon has control of RUSSIAN BOTS?]
Later in August Bannon gave a grandstanding football spike of an interview to the New York Times claiming the more the “left talks about racism, the more we win.” He said, “I want them to talk about racism everyday.” He also basically claimed he’s running the White House from behind the scenes, which was surely news to Kelly and also,Trump. Soon after Buzzfeed reported that Trump was furious that “Bannon is taking credit for my election.”
By August 18 Steve Bannon was fired and reports quickly surfaced that he was going to take Breitbart to Defcon1 Thermonuclear Global War against Trump. Cue the Russia Bots of Doom. Subsequent reports said that he intends to use Brietbart to go to war with Trump’s enemies—which by now includes just about everyone.
Two days later Bannon’s Breitbart attacked McMaster as a “Koran kissing Muslim sympathizer” for his endorsing use of a military manual on showing respect for Islam and how not to inflame tensions. Then Bannon vowed to bring down Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, saying, “I’m going to light him up.” [Well, you could just offer to trip him so he falls onto his back, then he’d be helpless!]
In September Steve Bannon was interviewed on 60 Minutes and said “Hillary Clinton isn’t very bright,” “Firing Comey was stupid,” the “Russia investigation is a farce,” and he was going to “war with McConnell and Ryan” because they don’t support his populist/nationalist agenda.
Then Buzzfeed reported that Flynn, Kushner, and Bannon all secretly met with King Abdullah of Jordan on January 5 in the Four Seasons Hotel to discuss their Saudi Nuclear Power Plant “Marshall Plan” using a sanctioned Russian weapons company for security. [I guess Blackwater/Xe is still unavailable then?] Flynn, Kushner, and Bannon all denied that the nuke plants were discussed, but law enforcement sources said otherwise.
Later in September former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka told Newsweek that Steve Bannon helped write Trump’s UN speech which proclaimed the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea, even though Bannon had stated “there are no viable military options” there without killing millions of South Koreans. But what I want to know is why’s one fired guy tellling us another fired guy is still writing speeches?
Sill later, Bannon told The View that he does have “white nationalist tendencies,” saying, “If you read Breitbart, it’s got a lot of that white nationalist economic fervor.” [No, kiddin’, it does?]
Buzzfeed reported in September that leaked emails show that Bannon wanted to plant a mole at Facebook to ensure pro-Trump content wouldn’t be blocked. [Now why on earth would Facebook ever want to do a thing like … oh wait…]
Eventually Bannon was dropped by the Mercers and fired from Breitbart after his comments about Trump and Co were published in Fire and Fury … and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Fox News refused to hire him. [Boo hoo!]
In January Steve Bannon lawyered up in preparation for an interview with the House Intelligence Committee by hiring the same attorney, Bill Burck, that also represents Reince Preibus and White House counsel Don McGahn.
On the same day Bannon was scheduled to meet with House Intel, he was subpoenaed by Mueller to appear before his grand jury. He tried to stonewall the House Intel panel claiming the White House told him not to say anything even though they have no legitimate privilege claims—so then they also gave him a subpoena on the spot. The AP reported that Bannon’s lawyer Bill Burk was in real-time contact with the White House during his House interview—which means that his lawyer was possibly taking advice from his other client McGahn on which questions Bannon could and couldn’t answer.
Axios reported that Bannon slipped up during his House Intel interview and admitted to being part of a conversation with Preibus, Spicer, and former legal spokesman Mark Corallo about the Don Jr./Veselnitskaya meeting, but then refused to discuss any further details. All of them have since left the administration, but Corallo eventually quit because he felt the false Air Force One statement was potentially obstruction of justice.
Politico reported that Bannon attempted to claim that the entire Russia investigation is merely an attempt to “delegitimize the election results.” [Kinda like “birtherism,” eh?]
ABC News reported that during his House testimony, Steve Bannon confirmed that he told Michael Wolff that the Don Jr. and Kushner meeting with Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower was “treasonous and unpatriotic.” [Whoopsie!]
Newsweek reported that Steve Bannon had told Ivanka she was “just another staffer who didn’t know what she was doing,” which is an excerpt from Fox News host Howard Kurtz’ new book.
When Bannon eventually returned to the committee under subpoena, he only answered a set of questions which were pre-written by the White House, each with the same answer: “No.” In fact, both Corey Lewandowski and Bannon refused to complete their testimony with House Intel. Democrats pushed to have Lewandowski subpoenaed and Bannon held in contempt, but Republicans say they already answered 70 to 90 percent of the questions and “that’s good enough.” [If Hillary had only answered 90 percent of the questions about Benghazi … they would have had the Sergeant at Arms arrest her on the spot!]
Lastly, you have Bannon’s marketing of Breitbart as the “platform for the alt-right” movement of neo-racists and citizen supremacists. He recently told audiences at a Marine Le Pen rally in France to “let them call you racist”—because that seems like a perfectly reasonable plan, right?
One last thing: At least six of Trump’s staff including Kushner, Ivanka, Kellyanne Conway, Bannon, and Gary Cohn used private email while in the White House to conduct government business. [Oh no! Call the FBI!!]
That’s going to be all for now, kiddies. Get ready for “These are not even close to the ‘best people,’ Vol. 2” featuring the saucy adventures of Michael Flynn, Don Jr., Ivanka, and Sebastian Gorka—coming soon.