Allies of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon have reportedly told him to "lay low" as stories swirl about a possible shake-up at the top ranks of the Trump administration.
Numerous reports this week have signaled that the populist provocateur considered leaving the White House following his removal from the National Security Council's principals committee, although Bannon has denied those. Bannon is enduring a "bad time" partly due to low polling numbers for Trump and the growing influence of President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in law Jared Kushner, a source close to Bannon told NBC News' Katy Tur on Friday.
The White House strongly denied reports Friday that Trump is considering major changes to his senior White House staff amid clashes among top aides. A White House official called the suggestions "completely false" and claimed they were "driven by people who want to distract from the success taking place in this administration."
Bannon, who joined Trump's presidential campaign after serving as chairman of Breitbart, was one of the forces behind the president's nationalist policies, including his denunciations of some U.S. military interventions. Bannon reportedly did not support the strike on a Syrian airfield that the U.S. carried out Thursday night in response to a chemical attack Trump has blamed on the Syrian government.
Trump mulled reassigning Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon. Trump became unhappy with disagreements among his top aides, the outlet added.
Numerous reports in recent days have described clashes between the populist wing of the White House — embodied by Bannon — and more moderate staff members including Kushner and chief economic advisor Gary Cohn.
Separately, Axios said Trump was considering Cohn and House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, among others, as possible chief of staff replacements.