Just saw this on the Hill right now, reports are stating that Trump himself was the man involved in Bannon’s decision to questionably invoke executive privilege in front of the House. What this says to me is that Trump has a deeply vested interest in Bannon keeping his mouth shut about who knows what. Considering the juicy detail we heard about Bannon mentioning the Trump Tower meeting being discussed, there must be a whole lot more that Bannon is hiding if Trump is so concerned, and that bit slipped. Also, notably John Kelly flat denied that Bannon was told anything of the sort that he was clearly told about shutting up. Why did Kelly deny this? Possibly he didn’t want it to come out that Trump was personally intervening in a hearing in front of a House committee by telling a former subordinate to questionably invoke privilege. The executive himself is interfering in congressional matters, and Kelly tried to cover Trump’s tracks, as usual it failed miserably. I’m not sure what the implications are for Trump interfering in a House investigation and obstructing it, but it certainly does not look good. I’d call this sort of behavior “sketchy as all hell”.
I figured I would update this to include John Kelly’s exact words on how Trump wasn’t involved in Bannon’s stonewalling:
“No,” White House chief of staff John Kelly said on Fox News when asked if Bannon was instructed to assert executive privilege.
“Steve has had very, very little contact with the White House since he left,” Kelly said, with the “exception of a few phone calls.”
He said “no” straight up, and then compounded the lie by saying Bannon has been distant from the WH, which is doubtful when Trump is ordering Bannon not to collaborate.