Cuban has spoken to Steve Bannon while pondering presidential run
Cuban has spoken to Steve Bannon while pondering presidential run

Mark Cuban appears to be getting more serious about a potential presidential run in 2020.

When asked about the possibility just over a month ago, Cuban gave himself a 10 percent chance of mounting a campaign, but when he spoke at a conference on Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks owner said he's "honestly considering" the idea, according to Matthew Zeitlin of Buzzfeed.

Cuban campaigned for Hillary Clinton and has been openly critical of President Donald Trump, but as he mulls a move into the political arena, he's been in regular contact with Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, Cuban told Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng of The Daily Beast.

The extent of their correspondence, though, seems to vary depending on who describes it.

Cuban said he's "texted with (Bannon) a few time(s)," but that none of those have been "more than one full sentence." After the Daily Beast story ran, Cuban also told CNBC's Jacob Pramuk that those text exchanges did not touch on his presidential aspirations.

"Nope," he said. "Not even remotely close."

Four separate sources, however, told Markay and Suebsaeng that the two have "been in touch for months about a possible 2020 bid," and that Bannon "has encouraged Cuban to run and to consider doing so as a Democrat, seeing it as a realistic path to a viable presidential run."

Cuban has said he'll only run as a Republican or an Independent, and denied being directly advised by Bannon to run as a Democrat. Cuban indicated that the Breitbart executive chairman - who returned to that role after being removed from his White House post in August - only suggested as much in an interview with TMZ.

Cuban and Bannon were also spotted together at a hotel restaurant in New York a little less than a year ago, just two weeks after Trump was elected.

Sam Nunberg, a Bannon ally and former Trump campaign staffer who was fired in August 2015 for writing racist Facebook posts, described the relationship between Cuban and Bannon as being friendly and familiar.

"They talk regularly," Nunberg told Markay and Suebsaeng. "They're very similar. They have a lot of synergy there. Even when (Bannon) went to work for Trump, Mark would be interviewed and say nice things about Steve."

Cuban, for his part, says he's simply looking to learn from as many people as he can, regardless of politics or ideology. He said he's also met with several Democratic and Republican senators.

"I'll talk to everybody," he said Thursday. "You can't absorb enough knowledge and connect with people enough."

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