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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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