Bannon: If Trump knew about Trump Tower meeting ‘you have to question it’

Bannon: If Trump knew about Trump Tower meeting ‘you have to question it’
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon said that it would be concerning if President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE had previous knowledge about a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer.

Bannon initially told MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Friday that he didn’t believe that Trump had engaged in “treasonous behavior” because it “hasn’t been proven that he knew anything about it.”

Melber then noted that Bannon has previously said that “there’s zero chance” that Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpOn The Money: Trump signs first 2019 'minibus' spending package | Mueller probing transactions by Russian organizers of Trump Tower meeting | Stocks brush off trade fears Trump Jr. slams Rosenstein report: 'No one is shocked' Rosenstein wanted to wear wire on Trump, NYT says MORE didn’t tell the president about the meeting.

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“If a candidate knows about that in advance, then are they a part of treasonous behavior by your standard?” the MSNBC host asked.

“I think you have to call into question,” Bannon replied. “If somebody is actually out there trying to get information from foreign parties, you have to question it, yeah.”

“So if Mueller could prove that about Donald Trump, that would concern you,” Melber said.

“It would definitely concern me, yes,” Bannon said. “But the president has been pretty adamant that he didn’t know it and hasn’t known about it.”

CNN reported last month that Trump's former longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen is prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump had approved the Trump Tower meeting.

The former White House chief strategist came under fire from the Trump administration last year after it was revealed that he called the meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer “treasonous.”

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor — with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers,” Bannon told “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” author Michael Wolff.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately," Bannon said in the book.

The president responded by claiming that Bannon had “lost his mind."

Bannon later said that his comments were in reference to former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFormer White House lawyer sought to pay Manafort, Gates legal fees: report Mueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report Cohen questioned for hours in Mueller probe about Trump's dealings with Russia: report MORE, not Trump Jr.