Steve Bannon slammed his arrest on Wednesday, calling it "a political hit job" and "nonsense," while vowing to fight the charges against him. He also reiterated his allegedly criminal efforts to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border were in support of President Donald Trump.
"Are these charges are nonsense; this is a political hit job," Bannon repeated at least three times during his radio show, "WarRoom," on Friday.
"Everybody knows I love a fight," he said. "I'm in this for the long haul and I'm in this for the fight."
Bannon, Trump's former campaign head and chief strategist at the White House, was arrested on Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a crowdfunding effort to build a wall along the southern border. Bannon allegedly took at least $1 million of the money raised from supporters to pay another group leader's lavish personal expenses, according to prosecutors.
During the radio show on Friday, Bannon said his actions were in support of the president, who has since tried to distance himself from his top adviser.
"This was to show support for President Trump in the wall movement and the wall has to be built," Bannon said, claiming that the charges are an effort to "intimidate" people who support the president. This was to stop and intimidate people that want to talk about the wall. This is to stop and intimidate people that have President Trump's back on building the wall."
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement on Thursday that Trump "has not been involved with Steve Bannon since the campaign and the early part of the Administration, and he does not know the people involved with this project."
"President Trump has no involvement in this project and felt it was only being done in order to showboat, and perhaps raise funds," she continued.
Bannon also wondered aloud if the timing of his arrest so close to the election was for political purposes, though there is no evidence this is the case.
"The timing is exquisite," he said, "We have 72 [days until Election Day] and a wake up to what Donald Trump says is the most important election."