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- Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, blames White House senior adviser Jared Kushner for President Donald Trump’s Russia problems.
- Bannon’s comments on the matter were highlighted in a Thursday profile in Vanity Fair.
- “He’s taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff,” Bannon said. “This tells you everything about Jared. They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That’s his maturity level.”
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon blames White House senior adviser Jared Kushner for the appearance that President Donald Trump’s campaign in any way colluded with Russian officials, he said as part of a Vanity Fair profile published Thursday.
Bannon blamed Kushner for taking meetings during the campaign with Russians that made it appear as if Trump wanted help from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He’s taking meetings with Russians to get additional stuff,” Bannon told Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman. “This tells you everything about Jared. They were looking for the picture of Hillary Clinton taking the bag of cash from Putin. That’s his maturity level.”
Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, fired back at Bannon.
“Steve Bannon may regret not being in the White House anymore, but that is not an excuse for him peddling false stories about Jared or anyone else,” he said.
Though the two were not the closest of Trump’s inner circle during the latter months of the campaign and early portion of Trump’s first year in office, their relationship bottomed out after the two butted heads over the firing of FBI Director James Comey in May.
Kushner had advocated for Comey’s firing. Bannon considered it “the dumbest political decision in modern political history, bar none. A self-inflicted wound of massive proportions,” since it quickly led to the appointment of the special counsel Robert Mueller.
In a White House meeting the following day, Bannon told Kushner that the administration has “a decision-making problem.”
“We make a lot of bad decisions, and the bad decisions have to do with you,” he said,
Lowell said Kushner “was told of the decision that had been made to fire director Comey” and “he supported it.”
As it became clear the investigation would become more intense with Comey’s firing and Mueller’s appointment, Bannon sought out the advice of former President Bill Clinton’s lawyer during the Ken Starr probe, Lanny Davis.
Bannon said Davis told him, “We were so disciplined. You guys don’t have that.”
“That always haunted me when he said that,” said Bannon, who now is back at the helm of Breitbart News.