President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE has spoken over the phone multiple times in the past few weeks with his former chief strategist Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonExecutive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump Biden does not plan to shield Trump docs in Jan. 6 probe Jan. 6 panel subpoenas four ex-Trump aides Bannon, Meadows MORE, seeking guidance on his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.
Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter who spoke anonymously because the conversations were private, reported that Trump has reconciled with his once-estranged strategist, though it was not clear how many times the two had talked or how recently.
One source reportedly said that the president has reached out to allies who would tell him what he wants to hear as he continued to advance unsubstantiated claims of a “stolen” election and widespread voter fraud.
The White House and a spokesperson for Bannon did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comment.
Bannon left the Trump White House in August 2017 after consistently clashing with other aides, and the rift between himself and the president widened in the months following when Bannon was revealed to have given highly critical remarks on the record about Trump and his family.
“Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books,” Trump said in a January 2018 statement.
But Bannon has repeatedly come to the president’s defense in recent years, launching his “War Room” podcast during Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 and 2020.
He has used the podcast to support Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as to advance Trump’s unfounded claims on the 2020 election.
YouTube last week removed the War Room podcast channel, citing noncompliance with its community guidelines and its commitment to punish “any channel posting new videos with misleading content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.”
The move against Bannon, who has previously received suspensions and restrictions on social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter, comes as social media platforms have issued indefinite and permanent suspensions against Trump and a number of his supporters following last week’s deadly pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.
The riot followed a “Stop the Steal,” rally, in which Trump urged his followers to march to Congress to protest Congress’s certification of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Pressure grows to cut diplomatic red tape for Afghans left behind President Biden is making the world a more dangerous place MORE’s win.
The House this week voted to impeach the president over his role in the violent siege.
Trump’s reported conversations with Bannon come as the former top official faces federal criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in a scheme that defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors who contributed to a fundraising campaign for a private border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Bannon has denied the charges.