Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon blasted his indictment by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, claiming that it was a “total political hit job” intended to “shut up” Bannon and his allies on the right.
Bannon described the indictment, which accused him and his allies of wire fraud and money laundering, as “pure political intimidation.”
He noted that he was just the latest in a line of Trump allies that have been targeted, including the National Rifle Association (NRA) and anti-establishment Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr.
Bannon spoke to host John Fredericks on the Virginia-based The John Fredericks Show about the ordeal:
It’s a total political hit job. It’s to shut up myself, Brian Kolfage and anybody that deals with the wall are under pure political intimidation. It’s not going to shut me up. It’s certainly not going to shut Kolfage up. It’s complete nonsense.
You’ve been down there. I think you came for the symposium we had the first leg of the wall. You saw the quality of what we did. You saw where the money went. Not one penny was taken by anybody personally. It is complete nonsense. It will all come out over time.
I’ll tell ya, they are not going to shut us up. They are trying to criminalize the wall and anybody that supports President Trump on these issues. They’ve gone after the NRA. They’ve gone after Falwell. They’re going after me. They going after everybody. I’m not going to be intimidated, John.
The facts will come out over time. I’m creating a great legal team. We’re adding more people to it. Adding a communications aspect to it. We’re going to fight back and Kolfage is fighting back hard. It’s outrageous. Totally outrageous. Completely untrue. And we’re going to punch back hard.
The right-wing strategist expressed confidence that he would be “exonerated,” saying that he believed the government was going to “drop this case.” He expressed his belief that the indictment had two goals: to “intimidate donors from giving,” and to stop his informal involvement in the Trump campaign via his close ally Jason Miller.
“The timing of this thing is they timed it almost to the day four years ago when I took over the campaign,” Bannon added. “They wanted to make sure I could get no involvement in assisting President Trump. It’s not going to work.”
He went on to credit Miller with the success of the Republican National Convention this week.
“I think Ronna McDaniel and Jason Miller I think put on a flawless convention,” Bannon said. “Absolutely flawless.”
Regardless of the outcome of the indictment, Bannon has made clear to his large grassroots following that he is not prepared to simply back down or fade away.