President Trump distances himself from Bannon: 'I like Steve, but ...'


President Trump was asked on Tuesday if he still has confidence in White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and his answer was anything but solid.

As rumors swirl of White House infighting -- specifically between Bannon and Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner -- the timely question came from the New York Post's Michael Goodwin, who says

"I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late," Trump told Goodwin. "I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn't know Steve. I'm my own strategist and it wasn't like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary."

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The headline to the piece, "Trump won't definitively say he still backs Bannon," was enough to spook Bannon allies, who -- according to Axios' Jonathan Swan -- were "taken by surprise" by Goodwin's column, and are fearing Bannon's potential removal from Trump's inner circle.

"Bannon allies are bitter about the role they believe economic adviser Gary Cohn has played in undercutting their guy to POTUS," writes Mike Allen. "In private conversations, they call him 'Globalist Gary.' In text messages, the shorthand is CTC (Carbon Tax Cohn)..."

At the order of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Bannon and Kushner reportedly met over the weekend and agreed to "bury the hatchet" over their differences.

Trump alluded to the need for conflict resolution within his own administration during his interview with Goodwin, saying, "Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will."