Bannon is at Trump's table -- but slipping further away

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 16, 2017

This photo comes amid various reports that Ivanka Trump's husband and Bannon are openly feuding for power in the White House and over the political direction of the Trump presidency. At its core are Mr. Bannon, the edgy, nationalist bomb-thrower suddenly in the seat of power, and Mr. Kushner, the polished, boyish-looking scion of New Jersey and NY real estate.

Bannon, a hard-charging, fast-talking confidant of the president's whose roving job in the White House has given him influence over policy and hiring decisions, now finds himself in the undesirable position of being caught between the president and his family.

Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said in a statement Friday (US time) that the narrative of a dysfunctional administration on the verge of a makeover "is a completely false story driven by people who want to distract from the success taking place in this administration".

Thursday, Trump gathered his national security team on Air Force One while flying to Florida to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

News broke Wednesday morning that Bannon had been removed from the National Security Council.

The president's son-in-law and senior adviser last month volunteered to be interviewed about his Russian contacts by lawmakers investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election and the Kremlin's possible ties to the Trump campaign.

"The only thing we are shaking up is the way Washington operates as we push the President's aggressive agenda forward", Huckabee Sanders said. The Freedom Caucus, a hardline conservative faction of the House of Representatives that some say were responsible for sinking the bill, was reportedly put off by Bannon's dictatorial tone when he told them they had "no choice" but to vote for the AHCA.

Bannon served as chief executive of Trump's presidential campaign after leaving his former role as executive chairman of the conservative Breitbart News a year ago.

Numerous reports in recent days have described clashes between the populist wing of the White House - embodied by Bannon - and more moderate staff members including Kushner and chief economic advisor Gary Cohn. But Bannon has signaled that he is not going away anywhere, anytime soon. Of course, Trump is famously mercurial and could just as quickly decide to keep both men on board as dismiss them.

Other administration officials declined to discuss staff relationships, but denied reports that a major staff shake-up is imminent.

Both Cohn and Powell - who both came from the administration directly from Goldman Sachs - are viewed internally as close to Kushner, a dynamic that rankled those in the White House close to Bannon.

"T$3 his is not as significant as it appears, I think", McMaster told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace Sunday.

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