In response to a recent piece in Breitbart News, Cardinal Raymond Burke has clarified that he did indeed grant a “brief interview” to Steve Bannon in 2014, while continuing to deny conspiracy theories alleging that the two forged some sort of “strategic alliance.”
As reported by Breitbart News, the Cardinal recently said that he “never had a meeting” with former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon in a videotaped interview with Gabriel Ariza of the Infovaticana news site.
“They tell me that I was introduced to him years ago, but we certainly did not have a meeting at that time,” Burke said. “In fact, I do not remember meeting him. But they tell me that I was introduced to him, but to be very honest with you, I cannot remember exactly what he looks like.”
On Wednesday, Burke told Breitbart News that since giving that interview “it has been pointed out to me that I met Steve Bannon in 2014 for a brief interview on the occasion of the canonization of Pope Saint John Paul II.”
Bannon interviewed Burke on video in his capacity as a documentary filmmaker and executive chairman of Breitbart News.
“To my great embarrassment,” Burke said, “I had forgotten our meeting for the brief – I am told ten minute – interview.”
At the same time, Burke told Breitbart News that he wished to “underline that the interview hardly constituted a meeting and certainly had no political agenda in view,” adding that since the interview in 2014, he has “no recollection of having met Steve Bannon again.”
Burke has corrected earlier theories floated by the New York Times that he had been pursued by Steve Bannon as part of an effort “to cultivate strategic alliances with those in Rome who share his interpretation of a right-wing ‘church militant’ theology,” for which no evidence has been produced.
In a Feb. 17, 2017 article, the Times suggested that Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon had bonded over a “shared worldview,” a claim that Burke denies.
Pressed on whether he has any link with the Trump administration, Burke replied flatly, “No, I do not.”
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