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Bannon refuses to tell Congress about his time working for Trump

18 Enero 2018

FORMER White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has struck a deal to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller and his team investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

The subpoena may have been a negotiating tactic to convince Mr Bannon to sit down with Mr Mueller for a less-formal interview in the special counsel's offices, legal experts said.

Bannon was subpoenaed last week by the special counsel, initially requiring him to appear before a federal grand jury as part of the Russia investigation.

The unrestricted testimony of Trump's estranged political strategist could be explosive: he had a front-row seat as chief executive of the 2016 election campaign in its final months, and as a top policy advisor in the first seven months of the administration.

The meeting came about after Donald Trump Jr was told in an e-mail that the Russian government had compromising information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The official said the White House offered to send an attorney to attend the interview and was told the move wasn't necessary.

Bannon is the latest high-profile figure to testify before the House committee as part of its ongoing investigation into allegations that Russia interfered in the US election. Both pleaded not guilty to 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States following their indictment in October.

Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who was leading the questioning for Republicans on the committee, challenged Bannon, asking whom he meant in particular.

"This is the broadest effort to effectively gag a witness that we've seen", he said. He also would not answer questions about whether he'd spoken to the president about his testimony.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who served as Mr Trump's spokeswoman during his presidential campaign, is also expected to be questioned by the committee this week.

Mr Bannon later changed his story to walk back some of the criticism of Mr Trump's son.

The Bannon's observation about Ivanka was reported by The Wall Street Journal, which as reviewed Michael Wolff's new book.

That's because he reportedly gave very few answers when he testified behind closed doors with committee members for more than 10 hours Tuesday.

Trump responded by saying his one-time top aide had "lost his mind". "This time it was something that was relayed via phone and again was following standard procedure for an instance like this and something that will likely happen again on any other number of occasions, not just within this administration but future administrations".

Bannon refuses to tell Congress about his time working for Trump