NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, in a rare public appearance, ticked down a list Thursday, February 23rd of the three most important things President Donald Trump has begun to accomplish in the first month of his administration.
Bannon called President Trump’s decision to pull the US from joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement “one of the most pivotal moments in American history” and just a first step in his plans to “bring back manufacturing jobs.”
He then pointed to the immigration-focused executive orders President Trump has signed, calling them a clear sign that “the rule of law is going to exist” when it comes to the US’s “sovereignty.” And thirdly, he said President Trump has begun a “deconstruction of the administrative state,” by beginning to act to strip federal regulations on business.
In a series of joint interviews in the last two weeks, the two men have emphatically shot down reports of division and instead claimed a chummy, symbiotic relationship.
Bannon told The Hill newspaper last week that Priebus “is doing an amazing job.”
“We are executing on President Trump’s agenda in record time. That’s because Reince is getting the job done,” Bannon said.
“We are a completely united team dedicated to enacting his bold agenda to bring back jobs and keep this country safe,” Priebus echoed in the interview.
And in an interview with New York Magazine, the two men joked about giving each other back rubs and said they speak all day long “until somebody falls asleep.”
White House sources have also backed up their account in recent weeks, but a source who spoke separately with both men last week told CNN that while Bannon had nothing negative to say about Priebus, the White House chief of staff badmouthed Bannon over the phone.
The two men’s professional backgrounds could not be more different. While Priebus has long been a creature of establishment Republican politics — rising to RNC chairman before becoming chief of staff — Bannon spent most of his professional career amassing wealth in the private sector before taking on a role as the head of the bomb-throwing, establishment-bashing Breitbart News site.
After President Trump was elected, their new positions atop the West Wing roster were jointly announced atop.
The two men would work together as “equal partners,” President Trump said in the release.