President-elect Donald Trump has named Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, as his chief of staff and Steve Bannon, CEO of Breitbart News, as his chief strategist and senior counselor.
The decision to go with Priebus is certain to ruffle feathers among the anti-establishment factions of Trump’s base who rallied behind his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington insiders. But Bannon’s White House appointment alarmed critics on the left and right who say his news outlet has given racist and nationalist voices of the “alt-right” a platform and influence.
Breitbart News had a rather different take:
Bannon was also a candidate for the chief of staff position, as was Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager, the Washington Post reported. Priebus was the favorite of Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, Vanity Fair reported last week, because of his relationship with vice president-elect Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Here’s some background on Steve Bannon:
Businessweek calls him “the most dangerous political operative in America.”
Vanity Fair plays up Bannon’s Harvard and Goldman Sachs past and calls him “the most potent conservative news executive in a post–Roger Ailes landscape.”
Mother Jones says he is a “propagandist” who “created an online haven for white nationalists.”
And here’s some reading on Reince Priebus:
In 2012, the Atlantic counted him among the GOP’s “brightest national stars,” along with fellow Wisconsinites Paul Ryan and Scott Walker.
Earlier this year, the New York Times Magazine described Priebus’ relationship with Trump as that of a “betrayed spouse.”
And Businessweek trailed a day in the life of the “reluctant GOP peacemaker.”