Top White House advisers Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner purportedly met Friday to “smooth things over,” amid continuing reports about high-level, Trump administration turmoil.
The meeting took place at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago south Florida estate and was led by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who with Bannon was told by the president on Thursday to “work this out.”
The White House is trying to downplay and dismiss reports about infight, as Trump attempts to capitalize on his efforts this week on Syria and the Senate on Friday confirming Judge Neil Gorsuch, the president’s Supreme Court nominee, to the high court.
Reports about infighting, and efforts to dismiss them, have slowed the Republican administration essentially since its start, with talk about Trump firing Priebus.
However, several White House and administration source this weekend dismissed stories about a major White House shakeup and Priebus’ ouster.
“He is staying,” a source said.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Friday: “The only thing we are shaking up is the way Washington operates.”
Still, the schism between Kushner and Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, is apparent and has its roots in Trump’s unconventional, outsider White House campaign of which they each played a major role.
Supporters for Bannon, a former executive for Brietbart News, which gave voice to Trump’s so-called “alt-right” supporters during the campaign, are at odds with Kushner, a 36-year-old New York entrepreneur, and his faction. The Bannon side purportedly calls the Kushner side “the Democrats.”
Bannon’s removal earlier in the week from the National Security Council apparently exacerbated the feud.
“Some stories are made to distract from the success that (Trump) has had this week,” White House special counsel Kellyanne Conway said Friday, hours after the GOP-led Senate confirmed Gorsuch to the high court.
Overnight Thursday, the U.S. military carried out a Trump ordered airstrike on a Syria airbase, after the regime of President Bashar Assad apparently executed a chemical weapons attack on civilians earlier in the week.