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Donald Trump picks US Chief of Staff, Strategist

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee and a loyal campaign adviser, will be his White House chief of staff, and Stephen K Bannon, a right-wing media provocateur, his senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist

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US President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday chose Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee and a loyal campaign adviser, to be his White House chief of staff, turning to a Washington insider whose friendship with House speaker Paul D Ryan could help secure early legislative victories.

Trump named Stephen K Bannon, a right-wing media provocateur, his senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist, signaling an embrace of the fringe ideology long advanced by Bannon and of a continuing disdain for the Republican establishment.

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Reince Priebus

The dual appointments — with Mr. Bannon given top billing in the official announcement — instantly created rival centres of power in the Trump White House, according to The New York Times.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, the transition team emphasised that the two men would work “as equal partners to transform the federal government.”

The arrangement appeared aimed at ensuring that both men would be required to sign off on many decisions jointly. And Bannon was assured that he reports directly to Trump, not to Priebus.

Stephen K Bannon

Stephen K Bannon

The simultaneous announcement and competing lines of authority are consistent with Trump’s management style in his businesses and in his campaign: creating rival power structures beneath him and encouraging them to battle it out.

While Trump apparently feels comfortable with Priebus, the people with knowledge of his weekend decision said Bannon was still the adviser who was better able to talk forcefully to the president-elect during difficult moments.

 

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