Triumphant McMaster downplays Bannon's removal on Fox

Apr 13, 2017, 00:47

Bannon reportedly met with Jared Kushner, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., last week amid reported tensions between the two men.

In an effort to kill headlines like these, reporting power struggles and name-calling between two of Trump's top White House advisors - on Friday, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon had themselves a good talking to.

On Friday, a reliable top aide to Mr. Trump spoke to Axios' Mike Allen via New York Magazine and explained that no date has been set, but Priebus and Bannon will be leaving Washington.

"Work this out", Trump said, according to The Times, citing two people familiar with the matter. In one tweet, he warned, "If you do [attack], many very bad things will happen, and from that fight the USA gets nothing!"

Allies of Bannon's inside and outside the White House derisively refer to Kushner, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and others as the "liberal Democrat" wing of Trump's White House.

Despite Trump's big news week, the White House is anxious that the stories of infighting and "palace intrigue" are supplanting stories about the president's successes.

Although some reports said that he threw a hissy fit at being sidelined and threatened to quit, he was persuaded to stay and fight by his purported mentors, the billionaire Mercer family, whose father-daughter duo has bankrolled Trump on Bannon's calling after initially backing Ted Cruz in the Republican nomination race. "The only thing we are shaking up is the way Washington operates as we push the president's aggressive agenda forward".

Publicly, White House staff deny that the rumors of a major overhaul amount to anything more than that - rumors.

Bannon was removed from his post on the National Security Council on Wednesday, two days after Kushner, a former real estate developer, was dispatched to Iraq to meet with top US military commanders and Iraqi officials to get a first-hand assessment of the battle against the Islamic State.

"Steve Bannon provides the president with advice on a broad range of issues and will continue to do so", he said.

Some of the former Trump advisers said Mr Priebus is at fault for not gaining control of the feuding and said Mr Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, would be a candidate to replace him.

And it all came to a head this week, when new details emerged that Kushner had played a pivotal role in kicking Bannon off the National Security Council. Trump has often pondered making changes for several weeks or even months before making them, if he does at all.

Priebus has been a source of contention for a number of Trump's former advisers, with the president pushing back on criticism with the response that the former chairman of the Republican National Committee is a "nice guy".

McMaster, who Bannon wanted in the role, was given authority to reorganize the committee when he joined the White House, according to NBC.