President Donald Trump appeared to back away from one of his top White House advisers in a New York Post interview on Tuesday.
When asked about chief strategist Steve Bannon, Trump said, "I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late."
"I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors and I didn't know Steve," Trump told the Post's Michael Goodwin. "I'm my own strategist and it wasn't like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary."
The president's comments follow several days of headlines in which Bannon, one of Trump's more controversial associates, seemed to be on the outs among the administration. He was removed from the National Security Council's principals' committee last week — reportedly against his will — and was said to be on his last legs inside the White House.
All of that was happening as reports of infighting painted top West Wing advisers like Jared Kusher and Bannon as avowed enemies. Reince Priebus, Trump's chief of staff, has rejected the rumors.
Trump is said to have implored his staff to resolve their differences. "I told them to straighten it out or I will," the president said to Goodwin, echoing similar words published Friday night.
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