Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Trump's First Appointments Do Little to Lift Uncertainty about His Reign

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Trump's First Appointments Do Little to Lift Uncertainty about His Reign

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Trump's first appointments do little to lift uncertainty about his reign

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An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published Nov. 14:

Donald Trump's first appointments to his administration, announced on Sunday, moved him a little closer to the mainstream of the Republican party and also maintained his stance as an insurgent against the party establishment. They seemed to set up a permanent struggle within his administration and to leave the world guessing about his policy direction after he takes office in January.

Steve Bannon, announced as Mr. Trump's chief strategist and senior counsellor, co-equal with the chief of staff, was brought into the Trump election campaign from the Breitbart online news service, a cheeky right-wing fringe voice that championed white-supremacist causes and frequently snipped at Republican mainstream figures such as Paul Ryan, speaker of the House of Representatives.

Reinhold "Reince" Priebus, who will be chief of staff, is a Republican backroom figure and a protege of Speaker Ryan who has never held public office but was credited with strengthening the Republican party in his native Wisconsin. He has been chairman of the Republican National Committee since 2011. He tangled briefly with Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign, objecting to the candidate's tape-recorded remarks about sexual abuse of women and mildly defending the Muslim parents of a fallen U.S. soldier from Mr. Trump's attacks.

As president, Mr. Trump will need the support of Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Mr. Priebus enjoys their respect. Mr. Trump often spoke dismissively, during the campaign, of the Republican establishment and promised to drain the swamp in Washington. The appointment of Mr. Priebus should reassure the denizens of the swamp that he will be kind to them after all. …

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