President-elect Donald Trump announced the first appointments to his administration on Sunday (13 November). Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as White House Chief of Staff, while Trump for President CEO Stephen Bannon will be the Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.
"I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country," Trump said in a statement. "Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make American great again."
According to the New York Times (NYT), Trump's decision to pick Priebus, who is friends with House Speaker Paul Ryan, could help bring about early legislative victories.
The pick may also anger some of his conservative supporters who hoped Trump would take on the Washington establishment. A source with knowledge of the assignments told NBC News: "Instead of draining the swamp, we just put in the head alligator."
"It is truly an honour to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff," Priebus said in the statement. "I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and his nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. He will be a great president for all Americans."
Priebus is expected to bring on several deputies, including RNC chief of staff, Katie Walsh.
Bannon, the longtime chairman of Brietbart News, will likely serve as a liaison between Trump and the conservative media outlets, NYT reported. "I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to work with Reince in driving the agenda of the Trump Administration," Bannon said.
"We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, on that led to victory," he added. "We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda."