In Another Rebuke to Steve Bannon, Trump Says He Has “Full Confidence” in His Lawyer

The president touts his “cooperative” approach to the Mueller investigation.

Evan Vucci/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

On Wednesday night, Donald Trump used his Twitter account to promote an episode of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show in which guests urged the president to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. But by Thursday afternoon, Trump was tweeting a very different tune—as he signaled, at least for the time being, that he was willing to continue listening to his lawyers’ advice that he cooperate with the investigation.

On one level, Trump’s latest comments signal a de-escalation of his rhetoric about Mueller—earlier this week, after learning that the FBI had raided the office, hotel, and home of his personal lawyer Michael D. Cohen, Trump was reportedly furious with Mueller. But Trump’s tweet also appears to be a pointed rebuke of his former adviser Stephen Bannon. Since Mueller’s appointment, Trump’s lawyers have advised him to cooperate with the probe and attempt to get it over with as soon as possible; Trump attorney Ty Cobb has been one of the most vocal proponents of this strategy. On Wednesday, Bannon publicly floated his own legal advice—Bannon is not a lawyer—that Trump should stop cooperating with Mueller.

“The president wasn’t fully briefed by his lawyers on the implications” of not invoking executive privilege, Bannon told The Washington Post in an interview Wednesday. “It was a strategic mistake to turn over everything without due process, and executive privilege should be exerted immediately and retroactively.”

In that interview interview with the PostBannon specifically called for Cobb’s ouster.

“Ty Cobb should be fired immediately,” Bannon told the paper. 

For now, Trump seems more willing to take his chances with Cobb than reconcile with Bannon. 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest