NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus knocked down reports of a negative relationship Thursday and blamed the media for the narrative of a chaotic administration.
The two appeared on stage together at the Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center for the Conservative Political Action Conference after weeks of stories about a feud between them. Bannon and Priebus have made a concerted effort to shoot down these reports. They recently spoke to New York magazine, which resulted in the article “Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus Want You to Know They Are Friends.”
The White House senior aides continued this effort at CPAC. They argued that liberal media outlets, or as Bannon called it several times “the opposition party,” is working to promote a narrative of division in the White House. Bannon’s former outlet Breitbart, however, wrote a hit piece on Priebus, and a source told The Daily Caller that Bannon agreed with it.
It wasn’t just Bannon who attacked the press, as Priebus stressed that the media “attacked us on the campaign,” “attacked us on the transition,” and “now they write ridiculous stories.”
The Trump administration has been in a constant battle with the press since President Trump took office, with the president calling several major media outlets the “enemy of the American people.”
Bannon and Priebus both stressed during their joint appearance that despite negative reports, Trump has been methodically acting on his agenda. Bannon called the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal one of the more important moments in American history.
The White House chief strategist went on to say that as Trump “continues to press his agenda, and as economic conditions get better,” the “corporatist, globalist” press is “going to continue to fight” against the administration. “If you think they are going to let you get your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon said about the media.
Their joint appearance ended with the two saying what they liked best about each other. Reince praised Bannon as a “dear friend,” and called him loyal, as Bannon said Priebus was a much needed calming presence in the White House.