That Time Steve Bannon Accused the Clintons of Corruption and Money Laundering

“They are grifters.”

Back in the summer of 2016, Steve Bannon interviewed Peter Schweizer on Bannon’s Breitbart News radio show. The two discussed Clinton Cash, the 2015 book that Schweizer wrote about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s foreign financial entanglements. Bannon’s takeaway was simple. The Clintons, he insisted, are corrupt. “The Clinton have sold out their own people for cold cash,” Bannon said. “They are grifters.” He added, baselessly, that the former first couple was running a “money laundering operation.” (Bannon would go on to run the Trump campaign and briefly serve in the Trump White House.)

Fast forward to 2020: Bannon, along with three other individuals, has been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud relating to an effort to build a donor-funded wall on the US-Mexico border. According to US Attorney Audrey Strauss, Bannon and the other defendants “defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction.”

During the 2016 radio broadcast, Bannon asserted that the Clintons had exploited progressive causes—global warming, environmental issues, human trafficking—and “monetized it on a global scale.” Though Bannon’s claims were baseless, the hypocrisy is clear. He’s now been charged with exploiting anti-immigrant hysteria in an effort to defraud right-wing donors.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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