According to the Guardian, President Donald Trump's former chief strategist minced no words in his take on Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians in Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign:
“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.”
These are the words of Steve Bannon in an eagerly awaited book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
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.”
The Breitbart executive blasted members of the Trump campaign for taking the meeting themselves rather than maintain some semblance of plausible deniability, saying,
[I]t should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.
Bannon also speculated that Trump Jr had involved his father in the meeting. “The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”
Bannon predicted the investigation by Robert Mueller will go first through Paul Manafort, Trump Jr., and then the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner:
“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 continues: “It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that. They’re going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me.”
The Guardian was able to obtain Wolff's book ahead of its expected January 9 publication.
He told the Guardian in November that to research the book, he showed up at the White House with no agenda but wanting to “find out what the insiders were really thinking and feeling”. He enjoyed extraordinary access to Trump and senior officials and advisers, he said, sometimes at critical moments of the fledgling presidency.