Sunday 19 November 2017

'I told them to straighten it out or I will', Trump weighs in on Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner feud

He refused to state he still has confidence in his chief strategist

(L to R) Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Steve Bannon, chief strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, look on as Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a joint press conference at the White House on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Tama/Getty Images)
(L to R) Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Steve Bannon, chief strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, look on as Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a joint press conference at the White House on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. Tama/Getty Images)
Stephen Bannon

Barney Henderson

Donald Trump refused to state he still had confidence in Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, on Tuesday night amid reports he is growing increasingly frustrated by the power struggle within the White House.

The US president appeared to put distance between himself and Mr Bannon, the far-Right former head of Breitbart News, who served as Mr Trump's campaign chief and is credited with helping to secure last November's shock election victory.

“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Mr Trump told the New York Post.

“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."

Adviser Steve Bannon, left, watches as President Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy forum at the White House yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Adviser Steve Bannon, left, watches as President Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy forum at the White House yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

There have been multiple reports that Mr Bannon and his allies have clashed with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, in recent days, with Mr Trump telling them to "work this out".

He said on Tuesday in an apparent reference to the feud: “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”

Mr Bannon was said to be opposed to launching air strikes agaist the Assad regime in Syria last week, arguing he did not believe doing so advanced Mr Trump's 'America First' agenda.

Ivanka Trump, Mr Kushner's wife, helped persuade the president to launch the US military intervention in response to the chemical weapons strike last Tuesday.

The Kushner faction clearly won that debate and appears to be in the ascendancy.

On one side of the divide is "the nationalists" - the anti-Establishment Bannon faction, intent on reinforcing America's borders and strengthening the police.

On the other, stand "the Democrats", led by the Kushnerites, who are more moderate and apparently persuaded the president not to target Barack Obama's LGBT rights reforms, among other things.

Mr Trump has reportedly been angered by the fact Mr Bannon is seen as the ideological mastermind of the administration - and the description of his employee as "President Bannon".

Sean Spicer, Mr Trump's spokesman, denied reports of the schism within the White House.

“There’s a lot of stuff that was overblown about this that makes it out into the media sometimes and gets a little more sensational than it really is,” he said.

Telegraph.co.uk

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