Steve Bannon's arrest on Thursday morning as part of the larger fraud case against those connected to the We Build the Wall efforts set social media on fire early. Soon after, more details started to spill out about the arrest, the others involved and then finally, the revelation that Donald Trump's tax returns will be turned over to the District Attorney in New York. It was a heavy morning for many in America, leaving social media to pick up whatever came out.
For many, the news wasn't a surprise but it did provide plenty of chances at humor in the face of political shadowplay. Bannon was once the mind behind the Trump campaign and helped set the tone in the early days of the administration, but he also seemed ready to return to the spotlight amid the 2020 Election build-up.
WATCH: Steve Bannon leaves a New York courthouse after being arrested on charges of defrauding donors of a campaign to build a wall along the southern border. pic.twitter.com/k1r5QO6tny— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 20, 2020
The arrest and allegations of fraud prompted a typical reaction from the president and a denial that he backed the project, despite many claims in the past and video showing his son, Donald Trump Jr., praising the project. The eldest Trump son has denied he gave permission to use his appearance as promotional material.
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Our special gift to @donaldjtrumpjr for taking the time to visit the border wall we built. A custom We Build The Wall Springfield 1911. Pictured here with @kimberlyguilfoyle and angel parents/We Build The Wall advisory board members, @mamendoza480 and @steveronnebeck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . @springfieldarmoryinc #springfieldarmory #buildthewall🇺🇸 #buildthewall #trump #trump2020🇺🇸 #trump🇺🇸 #trumpfamily #kag #maga #magacountry #trumptrain #trumptrain🚂💨 #borderwall #conservative #secondamendment #2a #bordercrisis
"Donald Trump, Jr., spoke at an event hosted by We Build The Wall in July 2019 to celebrate a portion of border wall the group had built," Talking Points Memo points out. "We Build The Wall in turn used his appearance for further fundraising, and lists Trump Jr.'s endorsement on its website."
Others who praised the fundraiser include Kimberly Guilfoyle, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, Kris Kobach, Erik Prince, David Clarke, Corey Lewandowski, Louie Gohmert, Ryan Fournier and several others according to the outlet.
Scroll down to see some of the best reactions and responses to Thursday's events.
Take to The Sea!
Bannon was arrested on a boat Thursday morning off the Eastern coast of Connecticut, a law enforcement official told @KaraScannell. Bannon had been on said boat for the last several weeks, multiple people said. He would tell people he was "at sea."— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 20, 2020
Arrested Development was one of the key references folks were making Thursday. The way Bannon was arrested fits the plot of the former Netflix sitcom well, seeing him apprehended at sea like Bluth patriarch George Bluth. Nevermind that it was also on the yacht of a Chinese "fugitive billionaire" according to The Daily Mail, who shared photos of the former Trump adviser onboard. Safe to say that plenty of folks noticed.
Arrested Development is trending... wonder why? pic.twitter.com/OGCtzdwbmp— WhineCooler (@yourWhineCooler) August 20, 2020
in lieu of actual footage we're all imagining steve bannon's yacht arrest as that scene from arrested development, yes?— Matt Collette (@matt_pc) August 20, 2020
The end of the Trump administration is starting to look a lot like the plot of Arrested Development.
Also, if you have a favorite Arrested Development GIF please post them. pic.twitter.com/qpdkHUsHwr— Ed Vocke for WI Senate D12 (@Vocke4Wi) August 20, 2020
"You couldn't script how Bannon was arrested." ...except for the fact that being arrested on a yacht is the first episode of "Arrested Development."
Also, it's not weird to be arrested if you stole money. https://t.co/KHn40Ndv8D— Mike Flynn (@thatmikeflynn) August 21, 2020
The President Speaks
Trump's response was also interesting since it came during a frantic press briefing where the president claimed he barely knew Bannon and never approved of the private wall project.
REPORTER: Sir, it's not just Steve Bannon. It's Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort. What's that say about your judgement and the culture of lawlessness around you?
TRUMP: Well, there was great lawlessness in the Obama administration. pic.twitter.com/sjRExKljrz— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 20, 2020
He also took a moment to address his tax return lawsuit being thrown out.
"The Supreme Court shouldn't have allowed this to happen" -- Trump whines about a court ruling that he has to turn over his tax returns pic.twitter.com/hjTvlein5z— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 20, 2020
The Republicans should probably start their convention today, before they’re all arrested.— Adeyemi Adams👑 🇳🇬🇺🇸 (@adams2011) August 20, 2020
The other exciting aspect of the arrest is that the U.S. Postal Service was behind the arrest separate of the current alleged efforts to stifle it and force it to be privatized. The US Postal Inspection Service collaborated with the Southern District of New York's acting attorney despite no apparent postal crime being committed.
You win. That had me rolling. 🤭😁— Corey J (@Jcon504) August 20, 2020
Reuters sketch of Steve Bannon appearing handcuffed in court in Manhattan today. pic.twitter.com/H8KKrxTJuM— Josie Ensor (@Josiensor) August 20, 2020
Steve Bannon had to post five million dollars bail. Lol.— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) August 20, 2020
Steve Bannon is now the sixth person linked to the senior leadership of the 2016 Trump campaign to be hit with federal charges, according to Axios.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 21, 2020