Monday, 25 June, 2018


Arron Banks quits commitee to go for lunch

Brexit News Arron Banks Nigel Farage Lawmakers want to question Brexit backer on Russia meetings
Bennie Garza | 14 June, 2018, 20:21

Arron Banks, who helped fund the Leave.EU Brexit campaign, will face MPs' questions on Tuesday about claims linking him to Russian officials. "It was when Trump won, there had to be reason he won and Brexit had happened".

Banks held a series of undisclosed meetings with Russian embassy officials around the time of the 2016 referendum campaign, according to reports in the Observer and Sunday Times (how the story broke is a sub-plot in itself).

After the hearing, Mr Collins said: "Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore themselves put on the record that they frequently lie, exaggerate, misspeak and misunderstand". He lashed out at politicians, the media and Chris Wylie, the Canadian whistle-blower at the centre of the controversy surrounding United Kingdom -based Cambridge Analytica and its use of personal data from more than 80 million Facebook accounts during the US presidential election campaign.

The millionaire entrepreneur also dismissed allegations by whistle-blower Brittany Kaiser, who said he had illegally used personal data belonging to clients of his insurance companies Eldon and GoSkippy for the Brexit campaign.

"I've got no business interests in Russian Federation and I've done no business deals in Russian Federation", said Banks, who was pictured with Trump and fellow Brexit backer Nigel Farage at Trump Tower days after the presidential election in November 2016.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed on Monday before Mr Banks' appearance in front of the parliamentary Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that his Russian links were being examined by ministers from two separate government departments.

Banks said he had two lunches with the Russian ambassador, who introduced him to a businessman who was proposing a complex gold-mining deal in Russia. Farage, who pressured the British government to hold a referendum on European Union membership, was photographed in front of an anti-immigrant poster critics saw as racist.

The two witnesses said that when Wigmore emailed a journalist at the time to suggest Banks was in Russian Federation and unavailable, he was being mischievous and lying. The group's ads were seen by many as divisive and fear mongering.

"Referendums are not about facts, it's about emotion", Wigmore said.

Wigmore said the question of whether the campaign's statements about Brexit were "fake news" was a matter of interpretation.

CONTROVERSIAL Brexit backer Arron Banks walked out on MPs quizzing him about fake news, saying he had to go to lunch. He added that nothing substantive was discussed during the meetings and that the second lunch came after the two men had met Mr. Trump in NY in the wake of his election victory in November, 2016.

Banks and Wigmore, who was also testifying before the committee Tuesday, acknowledged that they handed the telephone numbers of the Trump transition team to the Russians after their visit to Trump Tower. "I thought it was interesting", Banks said, referring to the meeting.

Banks confirmed reports he gave phone numbers for Donald Trump's transition team to Russian officials, after he had met with the U.S. president-elect in November 2016 in NY. His three children are also dual citizens, he added.

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