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Michael Wolff: Steve Bannon has knowledge of Trump’s crimes — and obstruction of justice

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On Tuesday, Michael Wolff, the author of the White House exposé Fire and Fury, told CNN’s John Berman that he believes President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and presidential strategist Steve Bannon is privy to the crimes he has committed through his family business — and to his obstruction of justice against the Russia investigation.

“You wrote a great deal about Steve Bannon,” said Berman. “He is your main avenue, it’s fair to say?”

“I call him my Virgil lesson, as in a descent into hell,” said Wolff, noting that the two of them are still very close and have a complicated relationship, even after he left the White House.

“I want to ask you. It is fascinating,” said Berman. “This gets to the idea of the investigations into the Trump businesses. There was a suggestion that the president’s personal company is a ‘semi-criminal enterprise,’ and Bannon responded to you, ‘I think we could drop the semi part.’ So was he joking, or what do you think he meant there?”

“I think that he’s, he’s perfectly straightforward about this,” said Wolff. “And he’s perfectly straightforward about, I think, the way that most people who have been around Donald Trump believe. They believe that, you know, Donald Trump’s long career has been a, well, I would say, semi-criminal career. Steve Bannon would say, lose the semi.”

“So does he have direct knowledge of that, do you think, or just suspect it at this point?” Berman pressed him.

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“Yeah, I suspect he does have direct knowledge of that,” replied Wolff.

“Do you think Steve Bannon believes that the president obstructed justice?” said Berman.

“Yes,” said Wolff. “Now I would say that Steve Bannon would go and characterize this as, that’s Donald Trump. So, I mean, the Steve Bannon view is partly, you know what this guy is, there’s never been any, any illusion otherwise. He’s Donald Trump. That’s the man you elected. A man who cannot, literally cannot, tell the truth.”

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CNN

Trump spokesperson goes down in flames up against progressive reporter: ‘All you do is lie!’

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President Donald Trump's spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany went down in flames up against Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks during a CNN panel Wednesday.

McEnany went on to try and spin the president as some sort of great leader for Black Americans. She said that the campaign is very "proud" of the president's record on issues involving people of color.

"He also just said he wouldn't change his position on the Central Park Five," cut in Cuomo.

McEnany tried to cut in, but Cuomo cut in. "Now, he said we'll leave it at that. Come on."

"Chris, you come — come on, you," McEnany shot back. "We've been talking about the Central Park Five and racism and all of these things going back to the 2016 election, problem -- American people didn't believe it."

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CNN

CNN analyst demolishes White House’s latest attempt to stonewall Congress: ‘There is no provision for this immunity’

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Ahead of former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks being called to Congress to testify about former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — during which she was, by all accounts, less than helpful — the Trump administration took the unprecedented step of advising Congress that Hicks was given "immunity" from talking to them by the president.

On CNN's "The Situation Room," national security analyst Shawn Turner demolished this legal strategy.

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CNN

John Dean explains the big mistake Hope Hicks made by stonewalling Congress

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Former White House counsel John Dean, a key figure in the Watergate scandal, said Wednesday on CNN that there was a serious flaw in the attempt to prevent longtime Trump confidant Hope Hicks from testifying to Congress.

White House lawyers have asserted that Hicks has absolute immunity and is not legally required to testify about her time as Trump's director of communications. Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee — where she reportedly refused to answer questions about her White House job.

"Privilege is not being asserted here. Instead, the White House says that Hicks has absolute immunity regarding the time that she spent at 1600 Pennsylvania. Does absolute immunity even exist? And if so, can you explain to me the difference between the two?" CNN host Brooke Baldwin asked Dean.

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