Posted: 5:28 pm Sunday, November 13th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
President-Elect Donald Trump made public his first choices for key jobs within the White House on Sunday, as he tapped the national chairman of the Republican Party for White House Chief of Staff, and picked a controversial conservative media figure as a senior strategist.
RNC Chair Reince Priebus, who worked diligently to keep Trump on track through the campaign for the White House, was picked for White House Chief of Staff by Trump.
Priebus won immediate praise from Republicans in the Congress.
I'm very proud and excited for my friend @Reince. Congrats!
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 13, 2016
“He is well suited for the task and will do a great job,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
Excellent choice for chief of staff by the President-elect. Reince is great to work with and knows how to get things done.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) November 13, 2016
“This is a great choice!” said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), from Priebus’s home state of Wisconsin.
While Priebus found praise, most Republicans ignored Trump’s choice for senior counsel and chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who will likely be a lightning rod for criticism.
Republican elected officials are hailing Priebus and ignoring Bannon. Hoping for the best, but not doing anything to avert the worst. https://t.co/UrYIgwz4Ru
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 13, 2016
Democrats though immediately targeted the chief of Breitbart, focusing on his ties to anti-Semitic and white nationalist groups.
“I am truly concerned about our nation and our values,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).
Doesn't sound like someone who should be chief strategist.anti- Semites are anti African American anti-gay anti immigrant anti America! https://t.co/u8q7YFSa4n
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) November 13, 2016
Selection of Steve Bannon for senior WH role unsurprising but alarming. His alt-right, anti-Semitic & misogynistic views don't belong in WH
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 13, 2016
— ((David Cicilline)) (@davidcicilline) November 13, 2016
“Nation exhales because white nationalist only gets second most influential job in White House,” said Dan Pfeiffer, once a senior aide to President Obama.
There were some voices in the GOP who raised red flags about Bannon as well, like John Weaver, a senior campaign aide to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant America.
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) November 13, 2016
Neither Priebus nor Bannon will need approval by the Senate to take their jobs, which may seemingly set up competing spheres of influence for Trump – Priebus seen as the more establishment type, while Bannon is the true outsider, looking to shake things up in Washington, D.C.
The CNN liberals are apoplectic over Bannon, which confirms he's a great hire.
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) November 13, 2016
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.