Donald Trump on Tuesday declined to say whether he has confidence in chief White House strategist Steven Bannon, instead pushing back on notions the former Breitbart executive was instrumental in the president’s 2016 electoral win.
“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump told New York Post’s Michael Goodwin. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”
“Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will,” Trump added, presumably referring to Bannon’s relationship with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose worldview is reportedly at odds with the alt-right media mogul. Last week, the Daily Beast reported that Bannon called Kushner a “globalist” and “cuck,” and insisted he could not work with Ivanka’s husband because he committed the sin of being a “Democrat.”
Reports on infighting among Trump’s inner circle frustrate the president, who reportedly insisted the pair work out their differences. The president is also reportedly eyeing another staff shake-up, this time involving Bannon. The White House originally denied reports, with spokeswoman Lindsay Walters arguing the notion of looming administration changes “is a completely false story driven by people who want to distract from the success taking place in this administration.”
Trump’s comments Tuesday that Bannon and others need “to straighten it out of I will” would seem to contradict the notion that the president has not considered making changes amongst his staff.