Trump’s chosen reaction to anything involving Russia, the investigations into his campaign, his daily missteps and lies as president, and anything that doesn’t promote his agenda is to yell “fake news.” No matter how hard he tries, he cannot make the investigation into his presidential campaign’s alleged collusion with Russian government operatives go away.
Now, two of his former campaign managers will be questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee on their possible involvement and/or knowledge of these alleged crimes. Trump had three campaign managers in one presidential campaign. Corey Lewandowski was replaced by Paul Manafort, who was then replaced by Steve Bannon.
Manafort is currently awaiting trial after being indicted on such charges as failing to register as a foreign agent and conspiracy against the U.S. It is unsurprising that Bannon and Lewandowski may be implicated in the Trump campaign’s crimes, as well.
On Friday morning, Bloomberg congressional correspondent Billy House tweeted that Lewandowski and Bannon are being asked to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Bloomberg Breaking!!! Bannon and Lewandowski asked to testify to House Intelligence in early January in the Russia probe. Neither has responded yet to the invite — which was not a subpoena.
— Billy House (@HouseInSession) December 22, 2017
All three campaign managers have vehemently denied any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s government in the foreign country’s attempts to undermine U.S. democracy by launching an online campaign against Trump’s 2016 political rival, Hillary Clinton. Those attempts led to numerous viral stories – and those stories were widely embraced and repeated as gospel by Trump’s rabid fan base – accusing Clinton of every imaginable evil from running a child prostitution ring out of the basement of a pizza parlor to the murder of an FBI agent who was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as President Obama’s secretary of state.
Both those stories, as well as many others, were proven false. Comet Pizza had no basement. The FBI agent named in the stories, Michael Brown, never existed. Although those fact checks quickly debunked the ridiculous conspiracy theories, many of which are tied to foreign writers paid to peddle fake news against Clinton, it was too late. The fake news that fed the Trump fan base’s confirmation bias was already internet canon and Trump’s rally attendees were already being led in chants of “lock her up.”
Steve Bannon is the former executive chairman of Breitbart, a site known for its extreme right-wing, anti-establishment, Trump-supporting news. In polls, however, conservatives report that they consider Breitbart an even more legitimate source of news than outlets like ABC and Bloomberg.
Corey Lewandowski was fired from the campaign after it was reported that Trump’s older children, Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump, wanted him out. His time with the Trump campaign was incredibly controversial, including an incident for which he was sued after pushing a female reporter named Michelle Fields at a campaign rally.
Bannon was hired at the tail end of Trump’s campaign after the infamous “grab ’em by the p*ssy” tape was released to the public. Trump, who said he was glad that the “gloves had come off” after that revelation, hired Bannon despite his long history of racism, xenophobia, and charges that he physically abused his ex-wife.
Neither of the two deplorable men have yet responded to the committee’s request, which is not yet a subpoena, but they may not be able to avoid the questions for much longer.
Featured image via Getty/Bloomberg