Bannon tells Congress he called Trump Tower meeting 'unpatriotic'

The White House's communications director Hope Hicks left is set to face questions from the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election

Bannon enraged both Democrats and Republicans when he refused to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Hicks' appearance Friday was anticipated given her close ties to Trump, which predate the campaign, and the central role she has played through the election season and in the White House.

Meanwhile, White House is relying on a sweeping interpretation of executive privilege that is rankling members of Congress on both sides of the aisle as current and former advisers parade to Capitol Hill for questioning about possible connections with Russian Federation.

He made his comments on "The Takeout" podcast hosted by CBS News' chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. A spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment.

Lawmakers questioned Bannon as part of their investigation into Russian election inference and sought answers about Trump's thinking when he fired FBI Director James Comey.

A lawyer for Bannon, William Burck, did not return a request for comment. The protection of the privilege is a matter for the White House, not the President's legal team, because it relates to the office.

Bannon Given More Time to Sort Out with White House
Up until now, congressional committees have generally not accepted informal claims of executive privilege, Shane told Salon. It was the first time Mr Mueller is known to have used a subpoena against a member of Trump's inner circle, the Times said.

Bannon refused to speak not only about his time at the White House, but also any conversations he had with President Trump after he had left the administration "that might be for the goal of the President seeking his advice on anything", Schiff said.

Tuesday's conversations were confirmed by a White House official and a second person familiar with Bannon's interview.

But two sources familiar with Bannon's congressional testimony tell ABC News that Bannon told lawmakers that the meeting was "unpatriotic", though he admitted that his initial description of the meeting as "treasonous" was hyperbolic.

In regards to Republicans' frustration with Bannon's silence and confirming their previous distaste for Bannon, Republican representative from NY and member of House Intelligence Committee Peter King said, "I have contempt for Bannon anyway". The President's personal lawyers were not consulted on the specific questions that prompted calls to the White House, a source said.

Asked whether there were questions that the White House was afraid of Bannon answering, she replied, "Not that I'm aware of".

Mueller's subpoena, which was issued last week, could be a pressure tactic to induce Bannon to cooperate fully with his investigation.


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