Following several days of media reports that Trump is close to parting ways with his closest advisors, either chief strategist Steve Bannon who recently was removed from Trump's National Security Council due to his imploding relationship with Jared Kushner, or chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who has been rumored to be the fall guy for the failure to pass Obamacare, or both men combined, moments ago Reuters reported that Bannon and Jared Kushner met and agreed to "bury the hatchet" over their differences, according to a senior administration official said on Saturday.
The end of the feud supposedly comes as it has "distracted from President Donald Trump's message" although in recent weeks many are increasingly unsure just what that message is, and even more confused that it suddenly appears to echo the message of Hillary Clinton.
As Reuters details, Bannon and Kushner, reportedly Trump's most influential adviser not to mention his son-in-law, met on Friday at the request of Reince Priebus who told them that if they have any policy differences, they should air them internally, the official said. The development came at the end of what Reuters dubbed "a relatively smooth week for Trump" which is an interesting way of describing the launch of airstrikes against what may well be a premeditated "false flag" in a bid to boost one's approval rating.
Prebus' message to Bannon and 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.
A slightly different version comes from Axios, which reports that Trump himself addressed his feuding inner circle: "You guys are close. Knock it off. Work together."
In addition to Kushner, Bannon had sparred with economic adviser Gary Cohn (or, as Bannon's allies call him, "Globalist Gary"), and suspected the economic adviser was trying to undermine nationalists in the West Wing.
And to think everyone in the press lumped Bannon and Cohn in the same boat just because they both worked for Goldman at some point in the past.
Amusingly, four former advisers to the president said 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. "He's got a long fuse for that kind of thing," said one former adviser. "I imagine he has gotten tired of this."
On Friday afternoon, the White House dismissed persistent talk that Trump might be on the verge of a staff shakeup. "The only thing we are shaking up is the way Washington operates as we push the president's aggressive agenda forward," spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said. It wasn't clear if she was referring to Trump's missile attack on Syria which is a continuation of policies implemented by the Military-Industrial Complex under both the Bush and Obama administrations.
While the Trump White House has been a hotbed of palace intrigue since he took office, the drama has intensified after the failed effort to get healthcare legislation approved by the House of Representatives and the rocky rollout of an executive order attempting to temporarily ban citizens of six Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.
Bannon, former chief of the conservative news organization Breitbart News, has been at odds with 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 Kushner, husband of Trump daughter Ivanka Trump, is trying to tug the president into a more mainstream position, while Bannon is trying to keep aflame the nationalist fervor that carried Trump to his unexpected election victory on Nov. 8.
Bannon is getting some of the blame for the administration's early stumbles because, one former adviser said, "The president demands results." Others have pinned the blame on Priebus who former advisors said is at fault for not gaining control of the feuding and said Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, would be a candidate to replace him.
Bill Daley, a former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama, who got pushed out in a shakeup himself after roughly a year into the job, said it appears that inside the Trump White House there's a struggle for "the soul and brain of the president." And considering that it is Gary Cohn who stand to win, and be promoted should either Bannon or Priebus lose their position, the struggle is really whether or not instead of merely running the Fed and deciding the cost of money, Goldman will have unfettered control over the executive brand as well.