So much for Donald Trump’s claim that he had no idea his campaign’s conspiracy with Russia was even going on. As one key Trump adviser after another has either been arrested or outright confessed, Trump has sought to insulate himself by minimizing their roles, while pleading ignorance and blaming the media. That was always going to come down to one of his advisers implicating him directly, in a way he couldn’t properly refute. Now it’s finally happening.
For reasons thus far known only to him, Steve Bannon is now confessing to a number of key aspects of the Trump-Russia conspiracy. He’s referring to Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian government representatives, whose purpose was to alter the election result, as “treasonous” – but he’s taking things even further. He’s specifically asserting that Donald Trump himself was in on the plot, saying “The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these Jumos up to his father’s office of the 26th floor is zero.” Best we can tell, “Jumos” is shorthand for Junior Moscow Officers.
In so doing, Steve Bannon is asserting that Donald Trump was personally in on the Trump-Russia plot to rig the election. He’s not claiming that he personally saw Junior walk the Russians up to Trump’s office, and it’s not clear what evidence he may have of any of what he’s claiming. But Bannon knows that as a result of these quotes, he’ll quickly be subpoenaed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and he’ll be legally forced to turn over every bit of evidence and documents involved.
It’s not clear if Bannon is trying to angle for a plea deal in order to protect himself from his own criminal liability in the scandal, or if he believes he’s already safe and he’s just trying burn it all down out of spite and a desire for anarchy. Come to think of it, Donald Trump just put out a statement accusing Bannon of “simply seeking to burn it all down.” For once, Trump may be right.
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report