President-elect Donald Trump named Republican National Committee official Sean Spicer as White House press secretary....I said earlier this month that Reince Priebus was eating Steve Bannon's lunch in the battle to staff the Trump administration. This is yet another win. As New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman wrote on December 8:
Spicer, the RNC’s communications director since 2011 and chief strategist since 2015, has become an increasingly visible presence on Trump’s team since the GOP nominee won the election on Nov. 8. Noted for his combative television interviews, he helps to lead daily transition news media calls and has a close relationship with RNC chairman Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff.
Trump campaign staffers are also angry that Priebus is attempting to staff the West Wing with mainstream GOP officials rather than Trump loyalists. According to sources, Priebus wants Trump to appoint RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer to serve as White House press secretary.... “If Priebus controls the schedule and the message, what does Bannon actually control?” one Bannon loyalist asked.Trump loyalists from the campaign were also rewarded today -- Hope Hicks, Dan Scavino, and Jason Miller got jobs -- but Spicer is getting a bigger job.
But it's not just Bannon vs. Priebus. As Sherman tells us today, another Bannon antagonist, former Goldman Sachs chief operating officer Gary Cohn, who'll be the head of the National Economic Council, has become a Trump confidante:
Several sources connected to the Trump transition team describe Cohn as an influential voice inside the emerging administration. Cohn, one source said, has “walk-in” privileges that allow him to pop into Trump’s office whenever he wants. “Gary is brash; he has no trouble interrupting Trump,” the source, who has attended meetings with both men, explained. Trump has tasked Cohn with a wide array of responsibilities, including recommending candidates to head the Securities [and] Exchange Commission, developing a strategy to repeal Obamacare, and crafting plans for new infrastructure spending and tax reform, sources say.As Sherman notes, Cohn is close to Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner. He's also said to be working to prevent the appointment of Larry Kudlow as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, in the belief that Kudlow is too right-wing.
... “Trump loves having Goldman guys around. The bank wouldn’t touch Trump, and now they’re working for him,” one Republican close to the transition told me, referring to the bank’s unwillingness to lend to Trump businesses.
Preventing Cohn from exerting too much influence on Trump seems to have become a goal for Bannon, says a source. “He’s a huge Democrat and knows zero about politics,” a person close to Bannon told me.I think Trump's dumping Bannon the way he'd dump a soon-to-be ex-wife. Bannon's going to be an ex-White House staffer soon.