Reince Priebus on what role he may have in Donald Trump administration: “I don’t know”
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Thursday he doesn’t know what role he’ll have in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Priebus what job would be “best suited” for him beyond RNC chairman.
“I don’t know Jake,” Priebus said on CNN’s “The Lead.” “You’re clever to ask the question that way through the side door instead of the front door. But, look it’s really not an issue. Honestly, it just isn’t. Right now, basically most of us have had two hours of sleep in four days. I think people are taking a breath, getting some of the details figured out. There’s just these transition teams, as you know, have been working for months and months. So slowly but surely those details will come out.”
Priebus praised Trump’s victory speech early Wednesday morning, when he said he’d work for all Americans as president.
“If you look at Donald Trump’s first speech, after knowing that he was going to be President-elect of the United States, you saw 2:30 in the morning, this is a person who gave a conciliatory, measured, very appropriate, I think, extremely impressive speech about coming together, building bridges,” Priebus said. “There was no bragging, there was no relitigating issues from the campaign trail. And he did that.”
He continued: “I’m certain that what’s in his heart is to continue reminding America that he wants to be a president for anyone in this country no matter who you are no matter where you are.”
And when asked how much of a mandate Trump has, Priebus responded the Democrats are completely out of power and that Republicans will “execute a plan and an agenda and that plan is going to be the one we campaigned on.”
He added that Republicans will act on their campaign promises, not specifying if that included Trump’s more controversial campaign platform points, such as his Muslim ban.
Earlier Thursday during his Washington trip, Trump was asked by reporters directly about his controversial Muslim ban as he walked away from reporters.
Asked later Thursday by CNN’s Erin Burnett about the Muslim ban, Priebus defended Trump.
“He said repeatedly there’s no religious test. For you all to be coming back and relitigating something that is now five months old is what the problem is in our country,” Priebus said on “OutFront.” “The problem is that we have to fill 24 hours a day, seven days a week of cable stations that create these issues that don’t exist and turn people against each other. If the media is so interested in the media coming together then they ought to do their job and stop stirring the pot where they don’t belong.”
President-elect Donald Trump is strongly considering naming his campaign CEO Steve Bannon to serve as his White House chief of staff, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN on Thursday.
The White House chief of staff is typically tasked in large part with ensuring that all wheels are spinning in the complex White House organization, and the source said that some people in Trump’s orbit do not think Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News who joined Trump’s campaign in August, is the best fit for that position.
Priebus is also reportedly in the running for the top White House post.
The New York Times first reported Thursday that Bannon was being considered for the post, though the Breitbart News chairman has previously said he was not interested in joining the presidential administration should Trump be elected.
Both Priebus and Bannon have traveled with Trump in the final months of his campaign. Bannon in the final week of the campaign was frequently spotted in the wings at Trump rallies at the side of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who has helped manage the presidential campaign.
Bannon has also been a major force behind some of Trump’s more controversial stunts, including when Trump held an impromptu press event with women who had accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault and misconduct. Bannon was spotted in the back of the room smiling as reporters were led in for the debate night surprise.