Rumor has it that President Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus are locked in a battle for influence over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. "In conversations I had with people close to Priebus and those close to Bannon, the two sides talk about each other as leaders of a zero-sum fight for control of the West Wing," wrote Ryan Lizza for The New Yorker in a piece unsubtly titled "Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus' War For The White House."
But Bannon and Preibus want you to know they are definitely not leaking damaging information about each other in an attempt to undermine the other's power. "It's all phony-baloney garbage that doesn't exist and I hope that you can clear that up in the article,” Priebus told New York's Olivia Nuzzi.
Nevertheless, "some people inside the White House see Priebus' mark on the emerging narrative that Bannon is the mastermind behind Trump's populism — a story Trump surely dislikes," Nuzzi writes. "The way to kill somebody in the Trump orbit is to say to him, Oh, this guy's your brain! He's calling the shots!" a source explained.
But Priebus isn't escaping unscathed either:
…paranoia has certainly set in among vulnerable members of the administration and those within its orbit, the most worried of whom have focused their frustrations and concerns on Priebus. They've nicknamed him "Rancid," the creature of the swamp they thought they were going to drain. [New York]