RUSH: I said I wasn’t gonna be distracted by the Steve Bannon indictment, and I wasn’t. Don’t tell me that the announcement of that indictment on Bannon wasn’t designed to take over the news cycle right when the coverage of the day’s Democrat convention activities would begin, right when the cable news networks would be getting busy rehashing what had happened last night.
But it didn’t, as you well know, it didn’t distract me because I didn’t let it. Now I do have some things to say about it. If you haven’t heard, Bannon, of course, was working for Breitbart News, and Trump hired him to be chief strategist and campaign CEO. This would have been in the fall of 2016. And a lot of campaign work had been done, so he was basically hired as a chief White House strategist.
And that job encompasses a lot of things. At the time, I didn’t know what a White House strategist’s job is. It is a chief of staff. And the chief of staff generally makes the trains run on time in the West Wing. And traditionally chief of staff controls access to the president. Even if you work there and you want to have a meeting with POTUS, you get put on the calendar by the chief of staff. And even if you don’t deal with the chief of staff directly, whoever gets you the meeting has to go through the chief of staff.
The chief strategist on the surface of it would be the guy helping the president devise strategery to deal with Congress to advance the agenda. It could be anything that you want it to be. And Bannon did the job for a while and was then asked to leave after some months went by. There were those who said that he was one of the biggest leakers in the West Wing in the Trump administration, which made no sense to me.
But, see, this is why, you know, I’m not cut out for any of that kind of work. Some of the staffing decisions that were made befuddled me, and, personally, I can’t relate. Okay, the president hires me to become chief strategist. I can’t imagine getting in there and start calling the Washington Post and New York Times and telling them what’s going on, knowing they’re gonna protect my identity ’cause they love the sourcing. But here I am basically undermining the boss while I am building up a great reputation with the press. It would never occur to me. Maybe if I’m profoundly mistreated after a period of time, but I can’t relate to it. I just can’t.
I don’t know that it’s true, but that’s one of the criticisms that there was of Bannon. But there’s so much stuff I can’t relate to. Leaking is one of the many things. So what has happened is Bannon was allegedly using hundreds of thousands of dollars from a charity for his personal use, personal expenses, personal gain. He and three others, total of four arrested, have been indicted in an online fundraising scheme.
They were ostensibly asking people to donate to a project that was gonna get the wall built, because Trump was having trouble getting Congress to agree with him and to appropriate funds for it. So Bannon and some buddies set up an organization and a GoFundMe page where you can donate and get the wall built. And the indictment says that Bannon and his buddies simply took most of the money for themselves and it was a scam.
Now, the way it’s being covered today is: Steve Bannon, a former adviser to President Trump, was among four suspects arrested. Steve Bannon, who was the former chief strategist in the White House for President Trump is accused of, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Steve Bannon, who was hired by President Trump as chief strategist during the 2016 campaign, blah, blah.
In every one of these stories about Bannon, Trump’s name is right next to his in the first line of the story. Every single headline, every first line ties Bannon to Trump, even though Trump had nothing to do with this. And Trump has commented today that he doesn’t even think this is how the wall should be funded anyway. Shouldn’t be funded with private dollars.
Okay, Justice Department, so now that you’ve decided to do this, now that you’ve decided to indict Bannon here on a day that you might want to help cover up the ineptitude of the Democrats, is it maybe about time to go indict the Clintons? ‘Cause I will guarantee you whatever Bannon has done, it’s piker compared to the amount of money they’re involved with. They set up the Clinton Foundation to expressly siphon off money for their family and their friends and to pay people salaries, travel, and entertainment expenses.
Hillary was using the Clinton Foundation to sell access to her up-and-coming presidency to who knows how many foreign entities. They used the Clinton Foundation to help defray expenses for her daughter’s wedding. They even set up the wedding registry as part of Clinton Foundation. So DOJ, is it maybe about time, if you’re gonna try to dirty up Trump here by indicting Bannon, haven’t the Clintons got enough of a pass for a long enough period of time?
She had her illegal email server when she was secretary of state. She botched the roll of protecting Americans during Benghazi. She was the inept secretary of state with the Russian reset. But the Clinton Foundation is where some real suspicious financial behavior took place. Mrs. Clinton, in the 2016 campaign, she’s agreeing to do-20-minute speeches, sometimes 10 of them a day, to Wall Street places like Goldman Sachs, for $250,000 a pop. Twenty-minute speech, 250 grand. She shows up and maybe doesn’t even speak, just signs some books, poses for photos, might talk about how great Goldman Sachs is, then she’s off to the next one, pockets 250 grand, goes right to the Clinton Foundation.
So two and a half million dollars a day. It’s used to pay Clinton family members, Clinton friends who are employees. It’s classic. Have you ever wondered how so many members of the House of Representatives go to Washington as comparative paupers? I mean, they live in their small-town districts. They don’t make a whole lot of money. They get elected, they go to Washington. They serve whatever number of years they want. And then when they leave we find out that they have become really wealthy. And then we say, “Well, how much do these people make?” It turns out, well, maybe $175,000 a year.
Wait a minute. How did you turn $175,000 a year, which a lot of it gets burned living in Washington and your district, how do you turn that into a net worth of millions? This is how you do it, folks. You set up a foundation. You set up a nonprofit and you convince people to donate to it. You have nothing to do it. Your wife runs it, your kids, somebody, an aunt or an uncle, a stepchild. But you have nothing to do with it, you as the representative or member of Congress.
If you’re a defense contractor and you need the congressman’s vote, well, you make a donation to the congressman’s charitable foundation or you make a donation to the congressman’s nonprofit. Congressman hears about it, what a great guy that defense contractor is. I think I’m gonna vote for that defense system, or however it works. But this is one way that these kinds of transfers of wealth occur. It’s well known, by the way. It’s so well known it’s not even frowned on. It’s applauded in many cases and certainly looked the other way when people discover it.
I mean, I could mention names that I’d get in real trouble if I did. But I could mention names of various members of Congress, and you could go look up how much they were making and how much their net worth was when they got to Washington. And then when they either died or when they retired, you find out that their net worth is inexplicable when measured against how much their salary over the years has been.
This is how it’s done. It’s, by the way, all legal. It may be improper. It may not pass the ethics smell test, but there’s nothing really illegal about it. Anybody can set up a foundation. And anybody can ask anybody to give to it. Foundation requirements, if it’s a charity, if you open a foundation for — pick a number — you start a foundation, let’s say for a hundred thousand dollars, just gonna pick a number — all you have to do is donate 5% of it a year to charity and you’re legal. If you start a foundation for a hundred grand, you get to deduct a hundred grand that first year right off the top. And then you only have to disburse, I think it’s 5% of it every year.
So if you got a foundation, open it up with a hundred grand, all you gotta do is spend five grand giving it to charity over the course of a year, you remain legal. You can fund it anytime you want with your own money or you can ask for people to donate to it. Or you can do fundraisers. You can do golf tournaments. You could do whatever you want. You could have Mr. Defense Contractor come make a speech and charge X for the speech, charge X for pictures with the guy, maybe get the secretary of state, any number of ways that all of this can happen. This is the circuitous route of wealthy people just planting money in your back pocket. This is the circuitous route that makes it, for the most part, legal.
So this is what the Clintons have done. This is how they used their foundation. And believe me, when the Clintons, when Hillary lost in 2016, you know what happened to this foundation? It veritably ceased to exist. It was of no value anymore to donate to it, because it was being used as a clearinghouse for people who were seeking favors and influence from the person they thought was gonna become the next president, Hillary Clinton. When she lost, the Clinton Family Foundation, the Clinton Library and Massage Parlor in Little Rock, all these things kind of just… well, the Clinton library hung on because he was president and so forth. But the family foundation kind of imploded.
So Bannon uses hundreds of thousands of dollars on personal expenses. The indictment is chilling. It’s a chilling reminder that we have a two-tiered, politicized system of justice. And if you could choose one privilege, the only sensible choice would be Democrat privilege. Democrat privilege let Hillary Clinton walk free after thousands of violations of the Espionage Act. Democrat privilege, before the courts, before the DOJ, Democrat privilege allowed the Clinton Family Foundation to maintain a lavish slush fund for Clinton family and friends while operating a pay-for-play scheme for Hillary’s all-but-certain presidency.
Democrat privilege thus far has protected Barack Hussein O from any repercussions for spying on the Trump campaign, for setting up for ruin Michael Flynn, saying nothing while knowing his minions falsely accused Trump of treason. Obama knew all that stuff never happened because he’s the one that set it up. (doing impression) “Well, you know, we former presidents, we don’t comment on our predecessors, on our successors.” Oh, you don’t? Well, you did last night. You saw fit to last night. Look, I could go on. You all know the score, how this all works. It’s the game of justice. The Democrats have yet to lose, and the Republicans are hard-pressed to win.