President-Elect Donald Trump made public his first choices for key jobs within the White House on Sunday, as he tapped the national chairman of the Republican Party for White House Chief of Staff, and picked a controversial conservative media figure as a senior strategist.
RNC Chair Reince Priebus, who worked diligently to keep Trump on track through the campaign for the White House, was picked for White House Chief of Staff by Trump.
Priebus won immediate praise from Republicans in the Congress.
“He is well suited for the task and will do a great job,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
“This is a great choice!” said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), from Priebus’s home state of Wisconsin.
While Priebus found praise, most Republicans ignored Trump’s choice for senior counsel and chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who will likely be a lightning rod for criticism.
Democrats though immediately targeted the chief of Breitbart, focusing on his ties to anti-Semitic and white nationalist groups.
“I am truly concerned about our nation and our values,” said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).
“Nation exhales because white nationalist only gets second most influential job in White House,” said Dan Pfeiffer, once a senior aide to President Obama.
There were some voices in the GOP who raised red flags about Bannon as well, like John Weaver, a senior campaign aide to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.
Neither Priebus nor Bannon will need approval by the Senate to take their jobs, which may seemingly set up competing spheres of influence for Trump – Priebus seen as the more establishment type, while Bannon is the true outsider, looking to shake things up in Washington, D.C.