Political News

Axios: Bannon had a 'slip-up' in House Intelligence answer

Posted January 17, 2018 5:24 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2018 8:34 p.m. EST

— Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon refused to tell the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday about his time at the White House, with the exception of one major "slip-up," the website Axios reported.

The Axios report, based on four sources with direct knowledge of the Tuesday interview, said Bannon told congressional investigators he had spoken with other senior White House staffers about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner had with a Russian lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Axios characterized the moment as a "slip-up" that stood out from the rest of Bannon's testimony, because he otherwise had declined to answer questions related to his time at the White House and during the transition.

The report said Bannon's lawyer Bill Burck said at the start of the session that Bannon would decline to speak about his time at the White House or during the transition but that Bannon made his remark about the Trump Tower discussion within the first 90 minutes of a hearing that ran more than 10 hours.

GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California used Bannon's "slip-up" to try to press him into answering other questions about his time at the White House, the report said.

GOP Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, who is leading the committee's Russia investigation, said Tuesday that the committee issued a subpoena to Bannon, and Schiff accused the White House of preventing Bannon from speaking.

News broke during the House Intelligence Committee interview that special counsel Robert Mueller had earlier subpoenaed Bannon to speak before a grand jury, and on Wednesday, CNN reported Bannon had reached an agreement to speak with Mueller's team instead of a grand jury.