Tags: stephen bannon | donald trump | mob ties | watchdog group

Report: Bannon Group Tried to Discredit Trump During Campaign

Report: Bannon Group Tried to Discredit Trump During Campaign
Stephen Bannon (AP)

By    |   Monday, 08 January 2018 05:05 PM

A conservative watchdog group led by Stephen Bannon reportedly tried to discredit President Donald Trump early in the GOP presidential primary process with opposition research alleging he had mob ties.

The document — first reported by the New York Times — was written by Peter Schweizer for the Government Accountability Institute, which he cofounded with Bannon in 2012 — and described years of alleged business connections between Trump companies and organized crime figures, CNN reported.

The GAI is backed by the Mercer family, one of the largest benefactors for Trump's campaign, with Rebekah Mercer, daughter of hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, listed as chairwoman on its website.The family was backing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at the time the opposition research document was written.

In February 2016, Cruz suggested Trump might not have released his taxes to hide mafia connections, citing "multiple media reports."

CNN reported, citing an unnamed source, that GAI conducted research on all Republican and Democratic candidates running in the 2016 election, and that Bannon and the Mercers knew about the effort but weren’t directly involved.

"We did not and would not share that with any candidates," the source told CNN. "There would be no sharing with candidates, with political operatives or anybody of that category."

It's not clear whether Trump knew of Bannon's and the Mercers' ties to the opposition research against him when they joined forced in 2016, CNN reported.

Trump cited some of Schweizer's other work on the campaign trail, notably the 2015 book, "Clinton Cash," which alleged corruption on the part of Hillary Clinton, and which formed part of the basis for the FBI to open preliminary inquiries into the Clinton Foundation. The FBI probe is now led by the FBI office in Little Rock, Ark.

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A conservative watchdog group led by Stephen Bannon reportedly tried to discredit President Donald Trump early in the GOP presidential primary process with opposition research alleging he had mob ties.
stephen bannon, donald trump, mob ties, watchdog group
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2018-05-08
Monday, 08 January 2018 05:05 PM
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