The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" reported how President Donald Trump's fear that Steve Bannon will flip on him and cooperate with federal prosecutors adds a new layer to next week's Republican National Committee Convention.
Maddow was reviewing Friday's front pages to see how Democrats' convention was playing.
The host noted that a few newspapers put coverage of Bannon's arrest above coverage of Biden's Thursday evening convention speech.
Maddow noted "the president and White House are having to pretend once again, yeah, the president definitely barely knows the newly arrested guy. Definitely isn't somebody who ran his campaign and served as senior adviser for months in the White House."
Maddow played a clip of Trump attempting to distance himself from Bannon, noting he did the same with Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and Roger Stone.
"We are now, interestingly, starting to see headlines sourced to him bragging about how he very much knows the president and is still in contact with the president. Steve Bannon is thought to be facing a considerable sentence if he's convicted here. Theoretically, based on the theoretical maximum sentence for these crimes, decades in prison. Realistically more like six to nine years he's facing."
"If he's under pressure from prosecutors to help them with other crimes he knows about, if he's under pressure from prosecutors to become a cooperating witness like he was in the Roger Stone trial in order to potentially earn leniency on the multiple felony charges he's facing himself, it's more dramatic than usual for the president to say he couldn't pick Steve Bannon out of a lineup."
"The prospect president has to once again manage somebody under serious federal criminal pressure themselves, thinking about their own life and mortality, and weighing whether or not to flip on the president -- fact he's having to consider that again because of all the people around him arrested and charged and pled guilty to felonies since he's been in prison, he's having to deal with that again now heading into the convention," Maddow noted. "That's not the normal background noise while the nominating conventions are happening."