Sources: Trump To Pick Reince Priebus As White House Chief Of Staff
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Donald Trump is expected to name Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus his new chief of staff, placing the longtime GOP operative in one of the most powerful positions in the White House, according to two sources familiar with the decision.
The announcement could come as soon as Sunday, the sources said.
Priebus should be a reassuring presence to establishment Republicans still uncertain about what a Trump White House will look like.
The pick signals that Trump may look to build bridges in Washington and keep continuity with longtime Republican agendas, as opposed to make waves from the beginning.
Priebus is among the longest serving chairmen of the Republican Party, and has generally been popular amid different factions within the party.
He is largely credited with building the ground game that elected Trump and with helping to unite his party after a divisive primary that resulted in many Republicans shunning Trump’s nomination.
Trump’s choice was believed to come down to Priebus and Steve Bannon, the Trump campaign CEO and executive chairman of Breitbart News.
In a repeat of the tumultuous process that led Trump to tap Indiana Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as his running-mate, GOP officials pressed the President-elect to go with Priebus for the chief of staff job.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Trump on Thursday to pick Priebus, a source told CNN on Friday.
Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, has also said privately he is supportive of that decision.
Priebus has served as a negotiator between the party and Trump. When Ryan did not initially endorse Trump, Priebus organized meetings and helped diffuse tension between the two when Ryan criticized Trump and Trump hit back.
Sources say Priebus and Trump have grown very close over the course of the campaign. Priebus had a leadership role in Trump’s debate prep and traveled with him in the latter days of the campaign.
Many of the RNC’s top operatives were installed in Trump Tower to work closely with the campaign.