L.A. Now

Donald Trump continues his transition to the White House as protests and riots break out nationwide over his election.

  • Trump names Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as chief of staff
  • He also gives a prominent role to campaign chairman Stephen K. Bannon
  • Trump says he'll deport people in the country illegally who have criminal records
  • Hillary Clinton says the FBI's late email review was one factor in her loss
  • Calls to "lock her up" about Clinton may put Trump in a bind

Trump chooses Priebus as chief of staff; Bannon to play major role

President-elect Donald Trump signaled Sunday that the dual forces that helped get him elected — Republican loyalists and far-right conservatives — will share power in his White House, naming strategists to two top West Wing posts.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus will serve as his White House chief of staff, suggesting an increased willingness by Trump to work within Washington's system to accomplish his agenda.

At the same time, however, Stephen K. Bannon, the campaign CEO who helped amplify some of Trump's most incendiary rhetoric about Muslims, immigrants and other minority groups, will serve as his chief strategist, according to a statement that called Priebus and Bannon "equal partners."

“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” Trump said in the 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 as we work to make America great again.”

Priebus was viewed as a choice who could bring order and experience to Trump's inner circle, which consists largely of family members and advisors with little experience in Washington. He also serves as a bridge to Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. 

Trump is known to value loyalty. Even as Trump's outsider candidacy split the GOP during the primaries, Priebus was one of the first party leaders to accept and promote Trump once it became clear he was the likely nominee.

Bannon, who took leave from his job running the conservative Breitbart News site to run Trump's campaign, is a divisive figure. Breitbart, which had long promoted Trump's candidacy, has also given a platform to the so-called alt-right, a loose collective of openly racist and anti-Semitic activists. Bannon's new West Wing assignment immediately drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

"Be very vigilant America," warned John Weaver, a top operative for Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich's presidential campaign. 

Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker, has also worked in various roles in the entertainment industry, producing films and politically oriented documentaries. He also had a hand in Turner Broadcasting's purchase of Castle Rock and gained a stake in rights to a handful of television shows, including "Seinfeld."

2:40 p.m.: This story was updated with details on Bannon's Hollywood career.

1:55 p.m.: This story was updated with background on Bannon.

Latest updates

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World