Trump picks Priebus as chief of staff; Bannon chosen for top advisor 

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus has been appointed the new, incoming White House Chief of Staff, but he will share some responsibilities with Stephen Bannon, who has been accused of being an anti-Semite.

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, along with media executive Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist.

Priebus is now at the center of power. The 44-year-old Wisconsin political operative will help guide policy and political decisions.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Sally. They have two school-age children.

He has close relationships with his party’s power brokers and grassroots and maintains a particularly close relationship with House Speaker Paul Ryan, which gives him added value over other candidates.

Priebus was already the longest serving chairman in party history, having worked in that role since January 2011.

Priebus’ ability to earn Trump’s trust and confidence ultimately outweighed any political concerns.

He was perhaps the only major Republican leader to stand with Trump over the campaign’s final weeks as much of the world predicted the Trump would lose the election. Priebus became Trump’s regular traveling companion and confidant. He was optimistic until the very end.

Bannon Accused of Being an Anti-Semite

Bannon is a leading force of the right, a media mogul and a man who made a career out of roiling the establishment from the outside.

Trump’s pick for chief strategist and senior counselor signals he has no intention of abandoning his brash, outsider instincts as he puts together his new government.

Bannon joined Trump’s election team as chief executive late in the campaign, following the departure of Trump’s second campaign team in August. He worked to re-shape his message to emphasize Trump’s populist and outsider appeal.

Bannon came from Breitbart News and has been personally accused of prejudice.

His ex-wife said in court papers that Bannon made anti-Semitic remarks when the two battled over sending their daughters to private school nearly a decade ago. In a sworn court declaration following their divorce, Mary Louise Piccard said Bannon had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy because he “didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”

Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Bannon, denied he’d ever said such things.

Bannon also faced domestic violence charges following an altercation the pair had on New Year’s Day 1996 following a spat over money. He was charged in 1996 with misdemeanor, witness intimidation and domestic violence with traumatic injury and battery. The charges were dropped after Piccard didn’t show up at trial.

A Harvard MBA graduate, Bannon began his career as a Goldman Sachs investment banker. He later capitalized on an entertainment industry deal that left him with a share of “Seinfeld” royalties, founded the Government Accountability Institute to ferret out “crony capitalism” and government corruption, and created a number of his own films.

Trump’s campaign said Bannon will work “as equal partners” with Priebus.

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

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report.