Donald Trump Reportedly Reaches out to Steve Bannon Amid Second Impeachment for Capitol Riot

President Donald Trump reportedly reached out to Steve Bannon by phone in recent weeks, as he tried and failed to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Bannon was a member of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and an early member of the administration as Chief Strategist until leaving in August 2017. Bannon is now facing federal charges for mail fraud and money laundering in connection with the We Build the Wall campaign. Trump was impeached for a second time on Wednesday for inciting the Jan. 6. riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Trump sought out Bannon's counsel on the efforts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden's victory, sources told Bloomberg Thursday. One source said this was part of Trump's efforts to find allies who would show support of his false claims about the election being stolen. It is not clear how often Trump and Bannon spoke or when the last time they did, Bloomberg reports. However, the outlet notes Bannon has gone to "considerable efforts" to get back into the Trump orbit.

Part of those efforts included Bannon's War Room podcast, which he started during Trump's first impeachment. During episodes of the show, he interviews Trump's allies, praised Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and showed support for Trump during the presidential campaign. Bannon and the White House did not comment for Bloomberg's report.

When Bannon left the White House in August 2017, it was not on good terms. He was reportedly critical of Trump and his family, reports The Hill. "Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books," Trump said in January 2018.

However, the War Room podcast and YouTube channel may have helped change Trump's feelings about Bannon. Last week, YouTube removed the War Room channel for violating community guidelines. "Any channel posting new videos with misleading content that alleges widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election in violation of our policies will receive a strike, a penalty which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming," the company told The Wrap. "Channels that receive three strikes in the same 90-day period will be permanently removed from YouTube." Trump has also been banned from Twitter following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, while YouTube suspended Trump's channel for a week.

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In August, Bannon and three others were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering for their alleged roles in the We Build the Wall campaign. The group allegedly defrauded donors who contributed to the campaign, which claimed to be helping to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico bornder. Bannon pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial in May.