FILE PHOTO of FBI agents © AFP / Octavio Jones/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP
Steve Bannon claims searches, targeting 35 individuals, happened on the same day he was charged with fraud
A former close advisor to former US president Donald Trump has accused the FBI of conducting raids targeting dozens of his supporters this week.
Steve Bannon, himself charged with fraud, has compared the organisation to Adolf Hitler’s notorious secret police.
Speaking on the conservative Charlie Kirk Show on Friday, Bannon said: “there were 35 FBI raids yesterday” targeting “senior members of MAGA, Republican supporters of Donald Trump.” He said there was no real need for the searches, as “these people have lawyers,” adding that the “jackbooted Gestapo” intentionally made a “big display of this.”
The Washington establishment, according to Trump’s former adviser, are hell-bent on silencing any dissenting voices, and is resorting to “lawfare, financial terrorism, law—you know, everything legally — and quite frankly, up to assassinations.”
The prominent conservative figure concluded that “this is all about intimidation,” with the Biden administration knowing that “they are losing.”
He vowed not to cave in, saying: “Screw them. I spit right in their eye, I can’t care less.”
When the host asked Bannon to confirm there had indeed been 35 FBI raids, adding that he had not seen this reported in any media outlet, the former Trump adviser replied: “I’m breaking that news right here.”
Newsweek magazine said it has asked the FBI to comment on Bannon’s allegations, but has received no response.
The former Trump adviser made the claims just a day after he himself was arraigned at a Manhattan court on multiple charges linked to a crowdfunding fraud scheme, in which he had allegedly swindled donors out of money meant to fund a wall on the border with Mexico.
Arrested on Thursday morning, Bannon pleaded not guilty to all counts, and was reportedly released without bail later in the day.