According to a report from Insider, former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon had a conversation with billionaire child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein where he admitted that, during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, he feared Epsten would run to the press with stories about the New York real estate mogul.
According to excerpts from Michael Wolff's upcoming book, "Too Famous: The Rich, the Powerful, the Wishful, the Damned, the Notorious - Twenty Years of Columns, Essays and Reporting," Epstein believed he could bargain his way out of criminal charges by investigators by turning over information on both Trump and former president Bill Clinton.
According to Wolff, Epstein "believed that the Justice Department had arrested him, under the instruction of then-President Donald Trump, because they wanted information on Bill Clinton, who had flown on his private jet multiple times."
As Wolff wrote, "The White House, through the Justice Department, was looking to press a longtime Republican obsession, and Trump ace-in-the-hole, and get Epstein to flip and reveal the sex secrets of Bill Clinton.Trump, if he was obsessed with Clinton, which he was, was also obsessed with what Epstein knew about Clinton.'"
Want a daily wrap-up of all the news and commentary Salon has to offer? Subscribe to our morning newsletter, Crash Course.
In his book, the author also recalls a phone call between Bannon -- who is currently being pressed by the House select committee to testify about the Jan 6th insurrection -- speaking with Epstein and admitting he feared what other secrets the jet-setting financier might expose.
As Insider reports, "Wolff revealed that months before Epstein's death, he visited the billionaire at his infamous $75 million mansion in New York City," during which he claims he witnessed a phone call between Epstein and Bannon.
"During Wolff's visit, Steve Bannon reportedly called Epstein on the phone and told him that he had feared him during Donald Trump's presidential campaign because he thought the financier knew secrets about Trump," Insider is reporting.
"You were the only person I was afraid of during the campaign," Bannon told Epstein. "As well you should have been," Epstein reportedly replied, according to Wolff.
The report, which can be read here, also notes, "Wolff wrote that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was also present at Epstein's house when he visited."