BRIDGEPORT, Conn. —
President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon pleaded not guilty to charges that he ripped off donors in an online fundraising scheme to build a southern border wall in federal court Thursday, hours after he was pulled from a yacht off the coast of Connecticut and arrested. That yacht was reportedly brought to shore in Steele Point in Bridgeport by federal officials Friday morning where they continue their investigation.
Bannon was taken into custody around 7 a.m. Thursday by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service on a 150-foot (45-meter) luxury yacht called Lady May, which was off the coast of Connecticut, authorities said. The boat is owned by exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui and currently for sale for nearly $28 million.
At his hearing Thursday, Bannon had his hands cuffed in front of him while a large, white mask covered most of his face. He rocked back and forward as he sat on a chair in a holding cell at Manhattan federal court, from where he appeared via video as his lawyers were on the telephone.
The magistrate judge approved Bannon's release on $5 million bail, secured by $1.75 million in assets.
LARRY NEUMEISTER (COLLEEN LONG and JILL COLVIN, Associated Press) also contributed to this story.