White House advisers Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon have reportedly been at odds with each other in a feud that underscores some stark differences in their worldviews. And now it appears that President Donald Trump is taking sides.
On one hand is Bannon, the frumpy 63-year-old anti-establishment alt-right nationalist who has stated that his goal is to “destroy the state.” On the other is Kushner, the more moderated 36-year-old real estate princeling who is at home hobnobbing with the establishment’s CEOs and Wall Street moguls. One is an outsider whose primary mission — to get Trump elected — ended months ago. The other is married to Ivanka Trump.
Guess who’s coming out ahead in this feud.
In an interview on Tuesday with New York Post’s Michael Goodwin, the president appeared to be distancing himself from Bannon, the man who played a key role in drumming up support for Trump in the final months of his presidential campaign.
“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump told Goodwin. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn't know Steve. I’m my own strategist, and it wasn't like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”
Under normal circumstances, such comments from a president would likely herald a shake-up, but Trump is not a normal president. His comments might simply be the president venting frustration, but he does appear to be putting the onus on fixing the problem on Bannon.
“Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will,” the president said. Last week Bannon was kicked off the National Security Council.
According to CBS, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus ordered a truce on Monday between the two advisers. But Priebus is also rumored to be on his way out. Meanwhile White House press secretary Sean Spicer is licking his self-inflicted wound after making a mind-blowing claim on Tuesday that Syria’s Bashar Assad is worse than Adolf Hitler because the German dictator didn’t sink to using chemical weapons. Spicer's comment elicited outrage over his apparent disregard for the millions of Jews who were systematically gassed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
With so much discord emanating from the White House, a shake-up could be in the works.