- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

President Trump this week put a bit of daylight between himself and top strategist Stephen K. Bannon, calling Mr. Bannon a “good guy” while downplaying his role in the 2016 campaign.

“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin this week.

Mr. Goodwin reported that he asked Mr. Trump if he still has confidence in Mr. Bannon and said he did not get a “definitive yes.”

“I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”

“Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will,” he said.

Mr. Bannon was appointed campaign CEO in August of last year, and Mr. Trump kept him on as his chief strategist in the White House.

Mr. Trump recently removed Mr. Bannon from a permanent seat on the National Security Council, and the former Breitbart News executive’s name has been mentioned in reports on alleged power jockeying among top White House aides, such as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and top adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.

Publicly, the White House has dismissed or downplayed such “palace intrigue” stories.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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