Political News

Special counsel questioned Bannon this week

Posted February 15, 2018 3:23 p.m. EST

— Special counsel Robert Mueller's team questioned former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon for hours over two days this week, according to a person familiar with the inquiry.

Bannon is one of the few individuals in President Donald Trump's inner circle to be interviewed by Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. He played a key role in the final weeks of the presidential campaign, attended meetings during the transition that are now under scrutiny, and continued in a top advisory role in the West Wing until he left in August.

Mueller's investigators were expected to ask Bannon about the firings of FBI Director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn, people familiar with the inquiry previously told CNN. Bannon was expected to answer all questions posed by the special counsel's team.

That differed from his appearance Thursday before the House Intelligence Committee, in which Bannon frustrated lawmakers from both parties by informing them that he had been instructed by the White House to invoke executive privilege to lawmakers on behalf of the White House, and declined to answer questions about his time during the transition and in the administration. Bannon declined to answer a wide array of lawmakers' questions pertinent to the Russia investigation, prompting them to consider holding him in contempt.

Mueller is currently investigating any potential ties between Trump associates and Russia during the 2016 campaign -- his is one of several inquiries into the matter.