Priebus named White House chief of staff



President-elect Donald Trump acknowledges the chairman of the RNC, Reince Priebus, while talking to supporters at the Election Night Party at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday/TNS)

By Amy Fiscus | Los Angeles Times

President-elect Donald Trump named Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff Sunday, suggesting an increased willingness by Trump to work within Washington’s system to accomplish his agenda.

At the same time, however, Trump announced that Stephen K. Bannon, his campaign CEO who helped amplify some of Trump’s most incendiary rhetoric about Muslims, immigrants and other minority groups, will be his chief strategist, according to a statement that called Priebus and Bannon “equal partners.”

“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” Trump said in the statement. “Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”


Priebus was viewed as a choice who could bring order and experience to Trump’s inner circle, which consists largely of family members and advisers with little experience in Washington.

He also serves as a bridge to Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Trump is known to value loyalty. Even as Trump’s outsider candidacy split the Republican Party during the primaries, Priebus was one of the first party leaders to accept and promote Trump once it became clear that he was the likely nominee.

Bannon, who took leave from his job running the conservative Breitbart News site to run Trump’s campaign, is a divisive figure. Breitbart, which had long promoted Trump’s candidacy, has also given a platform to the so-called alt-right, a loose collective of openly racist and anti-Semitic activists.

Bannon’s new West Wing assignment immediately drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

“Be very vigilant America,” said John Weaver, a strategist for Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign.



(c) 2016 Los Angeles Times

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