Trump Talking to Steve Bannon Again Amid Multiple Investigations: Report

In the face of mounting investigations including the Russia probe and a reported hush payment to porn star Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels,) President Donald Trump is reportedly seeking advice from his outside advisers, including his former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon whom he previously fired.

Trump has been back in contact with Bannon, who worked as his campaign manager and penned a book critical of the president after being let go, a White House official told The Wall Street Journal in a report published Friday.

Look who’s talking: Trump and Bannon are back in contact with each other. w/ @PeterWSJ

— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) May 4, 2018

The apparent rekindling of the relationship comes as Trump confronts not only special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, but also a criminal investigation into his personal lawyer Michael Cohen's $130,000 payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to cover up an alleged affair. Trump on Friday said a new member of his legal team, Rudy Giuliani, would "get his facts straight" after they faced scrutiny over a changing storyline on the payoff to Daniels.

Trump's reported communication with Bannon—who was ousted last August in a decision White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at the time said was mutual—shows he may have some level of desperation for helpful advice.

Just a few months ago, Bannon in Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," published in January, called a controversial June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Trump campaign members and Russians who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton, "treasonous."

"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor—with no lawyers. They didn't have any lawyers," Bannon was quoted saying. "Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately."

Trump quickly responded that Bannon "has nothing to do with me or my presidency," and that, "when he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."

But Bannon recently seemed to hold less of a grudge toward his former boss. Last month, Bannon backed the president in his controversial decision to engage in a trade war with China.

"To hell with Wall Street if they don't like it. It's time somebody stood up to them and Donald Trump is the perfect guy," Bannon said. "Wall Street is always short term. Trump is trying to protect the beating heart of American capitalism—our innovation."