President Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon testified before the House Intelligence Committee and some of the details have leaked to the media.
Here’s what happened
The all-day interview grew contentious, according to some sources, when Bannon refused to answer many questions put before him. The committee reportedly issued a pair of subpoenas for documents and testimony.
Bannon told the committee that he would not testify as to his time on the Trump transition team, but would testify about the Trump campaign.
His refusal to answer questions “infuriated” some lawmakers. Sources told The Hill that the exchange turned into a “total free-for-all” and described it as “brutal.”
“He doesn’t have any friends in that room,” one source added.
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) described the source of contention, explaining that they disagreed as to when executive privilege began for an adviser of a president-elect.
“I certainly think that when the committee expects an executive privilege, when does that attach is the question that is sort of dominating the day,” he said. “You know, at what time does it attach? During the transition or during the actual swearing in?”
“If you are part of the White House in any way and you’re talking about things that were during the campaign, but it happens to be in the White House, then what?” he added. “What’s the answer? So that’s the quandary.”
Accusations of treason
Bannon drew ire from Trump and his allies when he said that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians at Trump Tower before the election was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.”
“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s***, and I happen to think it is all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” he was quoted as saying in the controversial book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”
The comment caused the president to downplay Bannon’s importance in his campaign, and accuse him of losing his mind.
Bannon later said that his comments were about Paul Manafort, who also attended the meeting, not Donald Trump Jr.
Here’s a Fox News video about his testimony Tuesday: