Trump Appoints Chief Of Staff, Chief Strategist

President-elect, Donald Trump with his new Chief of Staff, Reince Peirbus
President-elect, Donald Trump with his new Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus

US President-elect Donald Trump has awarded key roles in his incoming team to a top Republican party official and a right-wing media chief.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), will be his chief of staff.

In this role, he will set the tone for the new White House and act as a conduit to Congress and the government.

Stephen Bannon, from the Breitbart News Network, will serve as Trump’s chief strategist.

Bannon stepped aside as executive chairman of Breitbart – a combative conservative site with an anti-establishment agenda that critics accuse of xenophobia and misogyny – to act as Trump’s campaign chief.

Meanwhile in the president-elect’s first interview, with US broadcaster CBS, Trump said that hep would deport or jail up to three million illegal migrants with criminal links.

He also said that future Supreme Court nominees would be “pro-life” – meaning they oppose abortion – and defend the constitutional right to bear arms; adding however that he will not seek to overturn the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

The billionaire further added that he will forgo the president’s $400,000 salary, taking $1 a year instead

In a statement released by his campaign, Trump described Priebus and Bannon as “highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory”.

The 44-year-old Priebus acted as a bridge between Trump and the Republican party establishment during the campaign.

He is close to House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite, who could be instrumental in steering the new administration’s legislative agenda.

During the election race, Bannon saw it as his aim to “bolster the business-like approach of Trump’s campaign”.

A former naval officer, investment banker and Hollywood producer, Bannon took over at Breitbart in 2012, when he promised to make it the “Huffington Post of the right”.

Breitbart is linked to the alternative right movement – or alt-right – which tends to reject both left-wing ideology and mainstream conservatism.

The movement often emphasises free speech and the right to offend. Opponents call it racist, anti-Semitic and sexist.

“I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to work with Reince in driving the agenda of the Trump administration,” 62-year-old Bannon said.

“We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory. We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda.”

Elected chairman of the RNC in 2011, Priebus has acted as the party’s spokesman and chief fundraiser. He said it was “truly an honour” to join Trump in the White House as chief of staff.

“I am very grateful to the president-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism,” he added.



    Correspondents say one of the big challenges of the new administration will be reconciling President Trump with the mainstream Republican party, where sharp divisions emerged during the primaries.

    Both houses of Congress are under Republican control.

    Donald Trump will take over at the White House on 20 January, when Barack Obama steps down after two terms in office. He defeated Hillary Clinton in last week’s presidential vote.

    On Sunday night Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping. The two agreed to meet at “an early date”, Chinese state media said.

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