Earlier this month, a sunburned Steve Bannon, holding a lit cigar and wearing a blue polo shirt with the collar turned up, stood in front of a camera on a yacht owned by his friend Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire.
A YouTube video shows Guo putting his arm around Bannon as the former Trump campaign chairman denounces the Chinese government and extols the alleged benefits of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. The vessel's lavish interior gleams in the background.
On Thursday, Bannon was arrested by federal agents on that same yacht off Westbrook, Connecticut, and booked into jail on fraud charges. Though the charges appear to have nothing to do with the Chinese businessman, the arrest puts a new spotlight on Bannon's relationship with Guo, a controversial figure with his own history of legal entanglements.
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