Chief of Staff General John Kelly disputed claims that the White House instructed former top strategist Steve Bannon to invoke executive privilege in order to avoid answering questions on Capitol Hill yesterday. Kelly was asked whether the White House told Bannon to invoke the privilege during an interview late Wednesday evening. “No,” was his one word response.
Kelly’s answer was more direct that the answer provided by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier in the day. Sanders declined to discuss instructions given to Bannon’s legal team but said that “the same process and past practice” is being following regarding congressional testimony given by former White House staff members.
Bannon testified in a closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence Committee yesterday, but refused to answer any of the questions. He revealed that he had been willing to answer all of the Committee’s questions but was instructed to not do so by the White House.