Trump taps RNC chair Reince Priebus as chief of staff

President-elect has chosen Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as his White House chief of staff.

The choice of Priebus, a loyal campaign ally to Trump who has close ties with House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, signaled a willingness to work with Ryan and the Republican-led Congress to get his agenda passed.

Steve Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News who served as CEO of Trump’s presidential campaign, was named his chief strategist and senior counsellor. 

“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” Trump said in a statement. “Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House.”

APTOPIX Campaign 2016 Trump

Interpretive park ranger Caitlin Kostic, centre, gives a tour near the high-water mark of the Confederacy at Gettysburg National Military Park to Trump, left, and campaign CEO Steve Bannon in October in Gettysburg, Pa. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

The chief of staff position, which serves as a gatekeeper and agenda-setter for the president, is typically one of the most important early choices for an incoming president.

The choice of Priebus as chief of staff could anger some Trump supporters counting on him, as he said during the campaign, to “drain the swamp” of business-as-usual Washington insiders.

Trump and his advisers already have signaled he may hedge on some of his major campaign promises, including on immigration, healthcare and appointing a special prosecutor to investigate his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

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