It's been widely reported that former White House political strategist Steve Bannon thought that Donald Trump Jr.'s infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian officials was "treasonous."
However, author Michael Wolff also claims that Bannon worried that Vice President Mike Pence was similarly attending problematic meetings -- and he worked to protect him from them because he saw Pence as a solid backup plan in the event of President Donald Trump's impeachment.
Specifically, Bannon worried about Pence taking meetings with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and First Daughter Ivanka Trump, whom he'd decided were, in Wolff's words, "Russia toxic."
Bannon often boasted that his personal antagonism toward Jared and Ivanka -- as well as his own hermit-like disposition -- kept him safe from being caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.
"I've never been to Russia," Bannon told Wolff. "I don’t know anybody from Russia. I’ve never spoken to any Russians. And I’d just as well not speak to anyone who has."
However, Bannon found that Pence was regularly taking meetings with the president's daughter and her husband -- and he tried to make sure Pence kept his distance from both of them.
"Bannon observed a hapless Pence in a lot of 'wrong meetings,' and helped to bring in the Republican operative Nick Ayers as Pence’s chief of staff, and to get 'our fallback guy' out of the White House and 'running around the world and looking like a vice president,'" writes Wolff.