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 TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE.

Trump's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortNew normal: A president can freely interfere with investigations without going to jail Kremlin: No evidence of election interference in Mueller report Heavily redacted Mueller report leaves major questions unanswered 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 KushnerMueller considered charging campaign aides in Trump Tower meeting but lacked evidence There could be a turning point in Israeli-Palestinian peace effort Durbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' 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 TrumpHillicon Valley: Cyber, tech takeaways from Mueller report | Millions of Instagram passwords exposed internally by Facebook | DHS unrolling facial recognition tech in airports | Uber unveils new safety measures after student's killing Heavily redacted Mueller report leaves major questions unanswered Mueller considered charging campaign aides in Trump Tower meeting but lacked evidence 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.