Bannon met with Mueller and his team multiple times this week: report

Sources tell NBC and CNN that Bannon spent hours with Mueller's team

By Nicole Karlis

Published February 15, 2018 6:25PM (EST)

Steve Bannon (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
Steve Bannon (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

The plot thickens in the Trump-Bannon fallout. Various outlets report that Steve Bannon, who once served as chief strategist to President Donald Trump, has met with special counsel Robert Mueller multiple times this past week. Recall in January Bannon had been issued a grand jury subpoena by Mueller.

CNN reports that Bannon spent several hours over two days with Mueller's team, according to a source "familiar with the inquiry." The source also said Bannon was expected to be questioned about the firings of FBI Director James Comey and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Bannon answered all questions, according to CNN. Sources tell NBC Bannon spent a total of "some 20 hours" in conversations with Mueller's team.

The reported demeanor and alleged cooperation of Bannon contrasts to what lawmakers observed on Thursday in an appearance Bannon made in front of the House Intelligence Committee, continuing his interview from Jan. 16.

During that time, Bannon reportedly wouldn't cooperate and answer questions about his transition period. Representative Adam Schiff, D-Calif., briefed reporters on Bannon's behavior, suggesting he could be held in contempt, according to NBC.

“The only questions he would answer were questions that had been scripted, literally scripted for him by the White House,” Schiff told reporters. “Whenever we sought to probe anything beyond the four corners of the specific wording of the question, he refused to answer. That’s not how executive privilege works.”

Bannon was subpoenaed after being quoted in Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury," talking about possible money laundering between Trump's team and Russian government officials, as well as describing the June 2016 meeting for "dirt" on Hillary Clinton between a Kremlin-connected lawyer and top members of Trump's campaign, including Donald Trump Jr., as "treasonous."

It is unclear if Bannon will reveal anything to Mueller's special counsel to our Trump — but if their public displays of mutual dislike are any indication, it is possible Bannon will not be inclined to cover for his former boss.

Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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2016 Campaign Donald Trump Russia Probe Steve Bannon