The Trump White House is embroiled in a public conflict with former White House Strategist Steve Bannon after Bannon’s criticism of the administration was released ahead of a tell-all book.
Bannon called a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian officials “treasonous” and “unpatriotic,” to which Trump released a scathing statement saying Bannon had “lost his mind.”
National security expert Juliette Kayyem says Bannon’s harsh rebuke is evidence that he is preparing to, or has already, cooperated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“Given that there are these cases and investigations in the background, the fact that the former campaign manager is saying this about people who are probably under some sort of investigation seems relevant,” she said on BPR today. “It seems clear to me that if [Bannon has] not already, he’s auditioning to go talk to Mueller.”
Robert Mueller has reportedly interviewed present and former White House staffers including Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller, Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer, among others.
Kayyem said little attention should be paid to Bannon’s assessment of the Donald Trump Jr. meeting because of his sense of “moral certainty.”
“Bannon’s assessment of it as 'treasonous' I couldn’t care less about,” she said. “Bannon aggressively supported a pedophile [Roy Moore] in the Alabama race, is a known supporter of racist blogs and racist sentiments.”
Bannon predicted during interviews for the tell-all book, Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House, that Mueller’s investigation was focusing on money laundering and that investigators would “crack Don Jr. like an egg.”
“Nothing’s getting better for them; let’s just put it that way,” Kayyem said. “There’s not been a piece of data in the last six months that’s leading anyone to believe that all of this [contact] was benign and accidental.”
National security expert Juliette Kayyem is the host of the SCIF podcast, CEO of ZEMCAR, founder of Kayyem Solutions and contributor to WGBH and CNN. To hear her interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.