Immediately after the 2016 election, Steve Bannon bragged to a reporter that he knew Donald Trump would pull off surprise wins in swing states like Michigan, even though not a single poll or pundit thought this was possible. Then it was reported that Kremlin-controlled Paul Manafort told Trump to go campaign in Michigan at the last minute. Palmer Report pointed out repeatedly in 2017 how curious it was that Trump’s advisers “knew” he would win. Now the story has gotten even more curious.
Donald Trump’s former political staffer Cliff Sims has written a tell-all book, and it’s irritated Trump so much, he’s attacked Sims on Twitter. One of the things Sims reveals in the book: after Trump lost the hotly contested state of Virginia on election night, he thought he was going to lose the election, and considered immediately launching a tweet-storm about how the election was rigged. But according to Sims, Steve Bannon told Trump to sit tight, because Bannon “knew” that Trump was still going to win the election.
If there were no other context to this, one might be tempted to write off Steve Bannon’s election night optimism as simply that – optimism. But when you put it within the context of Bannon publicly bragging that he knew Trump would win the other swing states, it takes on a different meaning. Manafort, presumably taking orders from the Kremlin, instructed Trump to go waste his time campaigning in Michigan. Then Trump won Michigan in statistically impossible fashion. And Steve Bannon knew Trump was going to win Michigan, even after his loss in Virginia seemed like a clear sign that he’d also lose Michigan.
Throw in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report last year revealing that Russian government hackers managed to breach the voter registration databases in key swing states, and the whole thing gets even more suspicious. Did the Kremlin hack the database in Michigan and delete enough Democratic voter registrations to alter the outcome, and then tell Manafort to have Trump campaign there so his “win” in Michigan would make more sense? Did Bannon know about Michigan because he and his Kremlin-connected company Cambridge Analytica were in on it? Or is this one of the biggest coincidences of all time?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report