President Donald Trump insisted that the position of Reince Priebus as chief of staff is not on thin ice, because the Greek-American politician “is doing a good job”, as he said during his news conference at the White House on Thursday.
“I see stories of chaos, chaos, yet it is the exact opposite,” Trump said.
“This is a fine-tuned machine and Reince happens to be doing a good job but half of his job is putting out lies by the press.”
Ironically, the story that agitated these rumors appeared in the conservative outlet, Breitbart News, that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon ran before leaving for the White House position and one which has staunchly backed the President during the tumultuous campaign.
But it is played out against a backdrop of near-chaos and sharp division in the White House as Trump’s first few weeks in office have provided juicy fodder for journalists he has attacked as “Fake News,” and dismissed out-of-hand, turning to Tweets for personal attacks on a range of perceived enemies.
“Here is my chief of staff,” Trump said when discussing the former chairman of the Republican National Committee during the 2016 campaign.
“Really good guy, did a phenomenal job at RNC. I mean, he won the election, right? We won the presidency.”
Donald Trump insisted: “You take a look; he’s done a great job.”
Priebus and Bannon have scrambled to say they are not at odds and are working together despite the reports of tension, in a story for the Washington insider site The Hill.
“Reince is doing an amazing job,” Bannon told The Hill.
“We are executing on President Trump’s agenda in record time. That’s because Reince is getting the job done.”
“It is a privilege to come to work on behalf of President Trump to serve the American people,” added Priebus.
“We are a completely united team dedicated to enacting his bold agenda to bring back jobs and keep this country safe.”
Priebus came to the job after a widely-lauded stint running the Republican National Committee, rising from Wisconsin roots to help guide Trump, from a distance, to the surprising upset over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Bannon has tried to ward off hanging criticism that he supports anti-Semitic, racist camps amid reports he is almost a Shadow President, to whom Trump leaves critical policy questions while keeping Priebus out of the loop, although the Chief of Staff is the position considered to be the most important and closest to a President.