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Officials warned CNN that Trump’s decision was not final until he signed the paperwork. Trump told people that after much deliberation, he had decided to pardon Bannon as one of his final acts in office.

Bannon had been charged with fraud over a plan related to raising funds for the border wall, but has yet to face trial.

Bannon’s pardon would follow a frenzied struggle during the president’s final hours in office as lawyers and top aides debated his inclusion on Trump’s outgoing pardons list. Despite their fight in recent years, Trump was eager to forgive his former aide after recently reconnecting with him as he helped stoke Trump’s conspiracy theories about the elections.

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon. (AP)

It was a far cry from when Trump exiled Bannon from his inner circle after he was quoted in a book criticizing the president’s children, claiming that Donald Trump Jr. had been a “traitor” by meeting with a Russian lawyer and labeling him. Ivanka Trump as “dumb as”. a brick. “Those statements by Bannon prompted Trump to issue a lengthy statement saying he had” lost his mind. “

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Trump said at the time.

Things turned around in recent months when Bannon tried to break out of Trump’s inner circle once again by offering pre-election advice and pushing his false theories after Trump had lost.

One concern that had stalled the pardon debate was Bannon’s possible connection to the mutiny of Trump supporters on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, a source familiar with the discussions told CNN.

Steve Bannon and Donald Trump.
Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. (AP)

“All hell will break loose tomorrow,” Bannon promised listeners of his podcast – “War Room” – on January 5, the day before the deadly siege of the Capitol.

The day after Bannon’s comments, Trump urged his supporters to go to Capitol Hill because the election “stole it from you, me and the country.”

A senior Trump adviser told CNN that Trump and Bannon had reached out in recent weeks.

While some advisers believed it was decided last weekend that Bannon would not get a clemency, Trump continued to raise it until Tuesday night. Throughout the day, Trump had continued to contemplate the pardons that attendees believed were settled, including for his former strategist, something that continued to come and go until Tuesday night, sources told CNN.

In the end, Trump sided with Bannon.

Joe arpaio

Donald Trump’s most controversial pardons

Bannon had helped run Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 and was credited as a driving force behind Trump’s populist appeal, nationalist ideology, and political polemics.

Before joining the campaign, Bannon was CEO of Breitbart, a right-wing news site that runs incendiary headlines. He returned to Breitbart after leaving the White House, but left again in 2018.

Since Trump’s electoral defeat, the president has leaned even further toward his expansive powers of forgiveness, granting pardons to his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, longtime ally Roger Stone, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. , among others.

Among Trump’s early pardons are those of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, right-wing commentator Dinesh D’Souza and financier Michael Milken.

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