Trump's team showing signs of decay involving key players

WASHINGTON -- President Trump on the third day of his presidency said, “It’s a team. It’s a great team. It’s a team that gets along,” referring to his advisers. Now, nearly three months in, that team is showing signs of decay.

On Friday, chief of staff Reince Priebus ordered a face-to-face truce between Steve Bannon and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner -- both senior advisers to Mr. Trump and leaders of warring White House factions.

“Our battles and our policy differences need to be behind closed doors,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. “We need to focus and ultimately all come out committed to advancing the president’s agenda.”

Kushner’s role has grown in the past two months largely at Bannon’s expense.

In addition to leading several White House task forces, Kushner traveled to Iraq last week and laid the groundwork for visits from foreign heads of state, including Mr. Trump’s summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Kushner supported the cruise missile strikes in Syria. Bannon opposed them.

“The president, obviously very pleased with the last week that he’s had and the accomplishments -- especially on the foreign policy front,” Spicer said. 

Bannon, who helped craft Mr. Trump’s travel ban executive order, lost ground when it was struck down in federal court. Last week, he was removed from the National Security Council.

“If you think they’re going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken,” Bannon said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.

Bannon, a populist with nationalist views, and his allies disparage Kushner’s alliance as the globalist Democrat wing of the White House.

In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Ivanka Trump, Kushner’s wife, downplayed infighting among Trump advisers.

“I do think we have a lot of different viewpoints at the table. But they’re not at odds with one another. I think anyone you ask will say that that’s a positive thing,” Trump said.

The fight for power and influence has to a degree given Priebus more room to maneuver because it replaced his own earlier battles with Bannon. The presidentially ordered cease-fire sent a message to Kushner that Bannon -- despite recent setbacks -- will remain a force for the foreseeable future.