WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he feels “very bad” about the arrest of his former close advisor Steve Bannon, but he knows nothing about the fundraising organization involved in the federal criminal case.
“I think it’s a sad event,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I haven’t dealt with him at all in years, literally.”
Bannon, the architect of the nationalist populism that defined Trump’s presidency, has been accused of defrauding Trump supporters in a campaign to help build the president’s signature wall along the US-Mexico border.
“I feel very bad.” “I haven’t dealt with him for a long time,” Trump said.
Bannon was one of four people arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit Internet fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in an official indictment obtained by federal prosecutors in Manhattan. The Ministry of Justice said that the plaintiffs accused the defendants of defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through a crowdfunding campaign worth $ 25 million entitled “We Build the Wall.” Each of them faces up to 40 years in prison.
“I don’t know anything about the project, other than what I didn’t like, when I read about it, I didn’t like it. And I said,” This is for the government, and this is not for individuals, “and it seemed to me like a show.
The Republican president also told reporters that he did not know the three defendants along with Bannon and that he did not believe he had met them at all.