Don Jr. Attempts To Distance Himself From Bannon's Border Wall Scam After Endorsing It Just Last Year
As the legal walls begin to close in around Trump insider Steven Bannon for his role in a border-wall funding scam, the scrambling of associates to distance themselves from him has begun.
Leading the charge is the President's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who released a statement via the Trump Organization all but denying involvement in the scandal.
The statement from Trump Org spokeswoman Amanda Miller claims that Trump Jr.'s involvement with Bannon's organization, a crowd-funding outfit called We Build the Wall, was minimal, amounting to a single speech as a single event in 2019, and that he did not give permission to We Build the Wall to feature him on its website as a testimonial.
The statement also claims Trump Jr. did not know that Bannon included him on the website, and implies that he was "deceived" by Bannon and We Build the Wall. It also stated that We Build the Wall "deserves to be held accountable."
The Hill reports that Trump Jr., along with his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is a key fundraising figure for Trump's 2020 campaign, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, all still appeared on the We Build the Wall website as of the morning of Thursday, August 20, when Bannon and his associates were arrested.
And the statement stands in stark contrast to Trump Jr.'s actual comments at the Bannon event at which he spoke.
The comments were far more effusive than the statement describs, praising the organization for its work and innovation.
"This is what capitalism is all about. This is private enterprise at its finest. Doing it better, faster, cheaper than anything else. What you guys are doing is amazing."
Bannon and his associates Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea were arrested on fraud charges Thursday morning.
The charges brought by the U.S. attorney's office of the Southern District of New York allege that they misappropriated money contributed by hundreds of thousands of donors who raised more than $25 million to privately fund a border wall.
On Twitter, many people pointed out the direct evidence to the contrary of Donald Trump Jr.'s claims.
And many people were just plainly not buying Trump Jr.'s story.
While some others just couldn't help but poke fun at this face-plant.
President Trump took a similar tack to his son, taking things one step further: He denied ever having heard of We Build The Wall in the first place.