No staff shakeup ahead - White House

  • 09/04/2017
Donald Trump talks to senior staff Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner (Reuters)
Donald Trump talks to senior staff Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner (Reuters)

Top White House aides Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner have met and agreed to "bury the hatchet" over their differences, a senior administration official says, in a bid to stop infighting that has distracted from President Donald Trump's message.

Mr Bannon, Mr Trump's chief strategist, and Mr Kushner, an influential adviser and Mr Trump's son-in-law, met on Friday at the request of White House chief of staff Reince Priebus who told them that if they have any policy differences, they should air them internally, the official said.

Mr Priebus' message to Mr Bannon and Mr Kushner was to "stop with the palace intrigue" and focus on the president's agenda, the official told Reuters.

Both aides left having agreed that it was time to "bury the hatchet and move forward" said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Four former advisers to the president said Mr Trump is accustomed to chaos in his decades-long career as a real estate developer, but that even he has grown weary of the infighting.

The White House dismissed persistent talk that Mr Trump might be on the verge of a staff shakeup.

The Mr Trump White House has been a hotbed of palace intrigue since he took office. But the drama has intensified after the failed effort to get healthcare legislation approved and the rocky rollout of an attempt to temporarily ban citizens of six Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.

Mr Bannon, former chief of conservative news organisation Breitbart News, has been at odds with Mr Kushner and Gary Cohn, the head of the White House National Economic Council, an administration official and the four former advisers said.

The former Trump advisers said Mr Kushner, husband of Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, is trying to tug the President into a more mainstream position, while Mr Bannon is trying to keep aflame the nationalist fervour.

In what was viewed as a sign of Mr Bannon's declining influence, he was removed from his seat on the National Security Council this week.

Republican strategist Charlie Black, who has known Mr Trump for 30 years, said he did not think a shakeup was imminent and that Mr Trump's White House reflects his traditional approach to running his business.