Trump names Priebus chief of staff, Bannon senior counselor

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

President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday appointed Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff.

Trump also announced that campaign CEO Steve Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, will be his chief strategist and senior counselor.

Bannon was notably given top billing in the press release announcing the appointments, a curious arrangement given that White House chief of staff is typically considered the most powerful West Wing job.
Trump said that Priebus and Bannon will work as “equal partners”– as they did in the campaign — to make the federal government “much more efficient, effective and productive.”

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

The appointments constitute appeals by Trump to both traditional Republican circles and the party’s anti-establishment wing, which helped fuel the businessman’s political rise.

Under Bannon’s tenure, the Brietbart News site pushed a nationalist, anti-establishment agenda and became one of the leading outlets of the so-called alt-right — a movement often associated with white supremacy and a defense of “Western values.”
Bannon thanked Trump for the job, saying he and Priebus with extend their partnership in Washington to “help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda.”

Priebus was one of Trump’s most loyal lieutenants during the real estate mogul’s up-and-down campaign that resulted in many Republicans, particularly lawmakers seeking reelection, distancing themselves from Trump.

In Trump’s victory speech after his upset win over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, he notably praised Preibus’ efforts and loyalty.

Priebus, an attorney, is a former RNC general counsel and chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party. He was elected RNC chairman in 2011 and has deep ties to GOP congressional leaders, particularly House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Priebus said Trump will be a “great president for all Americans” and expressed his gratitude for the being able to serve the president elect and the rest of the country in helping “create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace ObamaCare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism.”

Neither Priebus nor Bannon bring significant policy experience to their new White House roles. Chiefs of staff in particular play a significant role in policy making, serving as a liaison to Cabinet agencies and deciding what information makes it to the president’s desk. They’re often one of the last people in the room with the president as major decisions are made.

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