President-elect Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus would be his Chief of Staff in the upcoming Administration. Steve Brannon, the executive chairman of Brietbart who was reportedly Trump’s initial pick to be Chief of Staff, will serve as chief strategist and senior counselor.
The selection of Priebus was applauded by establishment Republicans and could bolster Trump’s sometimes strained relationship with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Ryan and Priebus are both from Wisconsin.
Bannon’s appointment, while not a surprise, raised eyebrows. Bannon served as chief executive of Trump’s presidential campaign, but he is mainly known for his work with Breitbart and the alt-right movement. During Bannon’s tenure, Breitbart produced stories like, “BILL KRISTOL: REPUBLICAN SPOILER, RENEGADE JEW,” “WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REPORT: TRANNIES 49 XS HIGHER HIV RATE,” “THERE’S NO HIRING BIAS AGAINST WOMEN IN TECH, THEY JUST SUCK AT INTERVIEWS,” “BIRTH CONTROL MAKES WOMEN UNATTRACTIVE AND CRAZY.” The news website regularly calls Democrats racists and sexists while pushing Trump’s platform. Some compared Breitbart to Pravda, the Soviet news agency that pushed state propaganda.
Court documents revealed that Bannon’s ex-wife called him an anti-Semite. She claimed that he pulled their daughters from school because of the number of Jews attending. The ex-wife said in the documents that Bannon “said that he doesn’t like the way [Jews] raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”
Bannon has denied the accusation. He and his wife divorced after he was physically abusive of her. Charges of misdemeanor domestic violence, battery, and dissuading a witness were filed against Brannon, but dropped when his ex-wife did not attend to testify.
The press release label Bannon and Priebus as “equal partners.”
“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” said Trump.
“Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”
“It is truly an honor to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff,” Priebus said.
“I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. He will be a great President for all Americans.”