Allies of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon have reportedly told him to "lay low" as stories swirl about a possible shake-up at the top ranks of the Trump administration. This move would be unprecedented.
The White House strongly denied reports Friday that Trump is considering major changes to his senior White House staff amid clashes among top aides. Honestly this wouldn't even be about politics. "Steve doesn't think we belong there", one Bannon ally told me.
He's begun asking those outside the administration - including wealthy friends and longtime confidantes - whether they approve of the makeup of his staff. To minimize potential conflicts of interest in the future, Ms. Trump had transferred her brand's assets into a trust taken care by her brother-in-law, Josh Kushner, and sister-in-law, Nicole Meyer.
Donald Trump has been a failure of a president, and somebody is going to have to take the fall. Others weren't as kind, telling the outlet Priebus' "sheer incompetence" was to blame for the perceived "lack of management, and ... strategy".
Kushner's lawyer Jamie Gorelick told the New York Times the omission was "an error".
The infighting spilled into full view this week after Trump removed Bannon from the National Security Council's "principals committee", a reshuffling that left the president's chief strategist less fully involved in the administration's daily national security policy while further empowering Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump's new national security adviser.
Reports of instability inside the White House put Trump's staff on the defensive on a day when it seemed certain that Trump would get a political boost for taking action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, who provoked global outrage after officials said he used chemical weapons against his own people.
Despite the White House denials, many close to the administration say the reports of division and cutthroat maneuvering are true. Why wouldn't he go back to Breitbart and start lashing Trump and Kushner for having sold out nationalists to pursue a "Democratic" agenda? He has said Kushner is a Democrat, according to The Times.
He is seen as wielding vast power with the president, who has come to lean heavily on the former Goldman Sachs executive for the direction of his economic and foreign policy agenda.
On Thursday night, as Trump was weighing the most consequential national security decision of his presidency, it was the Kushner wing of Trump's staff who appeared to win over their boss.