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Bannon warned Russia probe would focus on money laundering: report

Bannon warned Russia probe would focus on money laundering: report
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon warned that the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia would focus on money laundering, according to a book to be published next week.

The revelation is included in “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a new book by Michael Wolff. The Guardian, which has viewed a copy, published several stories on Wednesday about the book, which includes interviews with Bannon and President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE.

Trump's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFusion GPS co-founder pleads the Fifth in Congress, attorney cries McCarthyism Virginia judge calls Manafort’s plea deal ‘highly unusual,’ but is it? Three reasons Mueller may not charge Trump with obstruction MORE was charged with money laundering in an October indictment brought by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE, as was his associate Richard Gates. 

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In Wolff's book, Bannon identifies Andrew Weissmann, an attorney on Mueller's team, as a “money-laundering guy.”

“You realize where this is going,” Bannon said in the book. “This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy. Their path to fucking Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Khashoggi disappearance tests US-Saudi relationship The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | How Trump could work with a Dem House | Trump heads to Florida to view hurricane damage Virginia judge calls Manafort’s plea deal ‘highly unusual,’ but is it? MORE. … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

“They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV,” Bannon said, referring to the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDems fear party is headed to gutter from Avenatti’s sledgehammer approach Trump Jr. to stump in Indiana for Pence’s brother and governor hopeful Donald Trump Jr. blasts Beto O’Rourke: ‘Irish guy pretending to be Hispanic’ MORE

The former White House chief strategist also spoke about the 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and a group of Russians, describing it as “treasonous.”

And Bannon in “Fire and Fury” mentioned the connections between Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and loans taken out from the German bank Deutsche Bank that have come under scrutiny in relation to the investigation.

In December, federal prosecutors subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for records tied to Kushner’s family’s real estate business, Kushner Companies.

“It goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit,” Bannon said of the probe. “The Kushner shit is greasy. They’re going to go right through that. They’re going to roll those two guys up and say play me or trade me.”

This report was updated at 9:46 a.m.