Trump Brings “The Apprentice” To His White House Administration

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Nov 15 2016
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Two important positions have been filled. President-elect Donald Trump has hired Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, a position that could go to Huma Abedin if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency. Priebus’ appointment was a disappointment to people who believe he is a “Trojan Horse.”


Certain supporters who have sent Trump to the White House wanted Stephen K. Bannon as the chief of staff instead. After all, it was Bannon who drove nationalist, right-wing and pro-Trump news and articles from his media empire – Breitbart – which registered a staggering 240-million page views from 37 million unique visitors in October alone.


Bannon was the “brilliant tactician” who ran Trump’s presidential campaign to victory. Trump hired Stephen Bannon as his campaign’s CEO and in the process demoted Paul Manafort who subsequently resigned as campaign chairman in August due to his close relationship with Russian Ukrainian oligarchs – which had led to slumping poll numbers.


Under Bannon, Trump was pushed to embrace a new fierce populism strategy where Breitbart News was tasked to not only attack Democrats Clinton campaign, but also targeted fellow conservative Republicans such as Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. The sudden combative style caught Trump’s rivals off guard but the tactic works fabulously.


While Bannon seems to be a general feared by enemies, there’s one small problem that prevented him from getting the White House highest ranking position. Although he possesses a business degree from Harvard, a former naval officer and managing partner at Goldman Sachs, Bannon is a new bird on the political scene. For that, he was appointed chief White House strategist and senior counsellor.


In comparison, Reince Priebus has been the longest-serving RNC chairman since 2011. He led the famous “autopsy” of the GOP after its loss in the 2012 election, which recommended shortening the primary season and endorsing immigration reform as a way of reaching out to Latino voters. More importantly, he has a close relationship with Speaker Ryan and other politicians.


Like political novice Bannon, Trump is also learning the ropes of American politics. Donald Trump has basically burnt a lot of bridges with the Republicans during his journey to the presidency. As Trump’s campaign adviser, Priebus is needed to continue his role as the bridge between President Trump and the Republican Party establishment.


However, as an insider, Reince Priebus is a full-time politician who spoke and does politically-correct things. At one stage when the Republicans seemed to be pressuring Trump to quit the race, Priebus was there telling Trump to drastically change course. Priebus was also furious at his boss for not endorsing buddy Speaker Paul Ryan, who in turns has been very critical of Trump.


Although grass-roots have been telling Trump that Priebus is a traitor, the RNC chairman has so far proven to be loyal to Trump. He had told the Republicans that the reality-TV star will win, even after more than 70 Republicans signed an open letter pressing him to stop spending money on the troubled candidacy of Donald Trump and direct the funds toward Senate and House races.


Bringing Mr Priebus and Mr Bannon under the same roof should create some interesting tension. But that’s exactly what Donald Trump wants from the beginning. Trump’s management style as seen in “The Apprentice” TV show will now become reality when it’s applied to the White House. Trump does not rely on one person for opinions.


Both Mr Priebus and Mr Bannon have proven to be loyal to Trump hence both men would work “as equal partners” under Trump administration. Although Priebus will be in charge of the White House, Bannon was assured that he reports directly to President Trump, not to chief of staff Priebus. That’s consistent with Trump’s management style in his business and campaign.


Trump knew he can’t fully trust the RNC chairman hence the introduction of Steve Bannon as senior adviser as a counterbalance to Priebus. And like “The Apprentice”, Trump enjoys creating rival power structures beneath him and encouraging them to battle it out. President Trump can always “fire” anyone who screw up or betray him.


Still, there’re concerns that the powerful Priebus will be too eager to push the new president toward compromise on issues like taxes, immigration, trade, health care and the environment – all of which were formulas to Trump’s victory. But these issues are negligible compares to the criticisms on Stephen Bannon’s appointment as chief White House strategist and senior counsellor.


Bannon’s Breitbart has been denounced as misogynist, racist and xenophobic. Civil rights groups and Democrats have rejected Bannon’s promotion. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Mr. Bannon’s selection “sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and white nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House.”


Too bad folks as that were precisely what have propelled Donald Trump’s successful charge for the White House. Like it or not, Stephen Bannon understands the American voters more than anyone. On election night, Breitbart’s Facebook page received the fourth-highest number of user interactions on the entire platform – beating Fox News, CNN and The New York Times.


Bannon knows which button to press. He knows how to sensationalize news and could easily use Breitbart to attack chief of staff Reince Priebus, or even President Donald Trump for that matter, if his readers believe the president is going to turn his back on values, promises and principles that drove his voters to vote him in the first place.


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