U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), as his future chief of staff. He is said to have good ties with both Mr Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who opposed many of Mr Trump’s policies during the campaign.
As chief of staff, he will set the tone for the new White House and act as a conduit to Congress and the government. The U.S. President-elect also announced Stephen Bannon would serve as chief strategist. Mr Bannon stepped aside temporarily as executive chairman of the conservative Breitbart News Network to act as Mr Trump’s campaign chief. The Republican candidate defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s presidential vote, in a result which shocked many, who had expected Mrs Clinton to win following favourable opinion polls. Mr Trump is due to take over at the White House on 20 January, when Barack Obama steps down after two terms in office. “I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” Mr Trump said in a statement released by his campaign. “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 America great again.” Mr Priebus, 44, acted as a bridge between Mr Trump and the Republican party establishment during the campaign. He is close to Mr Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite, who could be instrumental in steering the new administration’s legislative agenda. Elected chairman of the RNC in 2011, Mr Priebus has acted as the party’s spokesman and chief fundraiser, helping candidates running for re-election. He said it was “truly an honour” to join Mr Trump in the White House as chief of staff. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this 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 added. Correspondents say one of the big challenges of the new administration will be reconciling Mr Trump with the mainstream Republican party, where sharp divisions emerged during the primaries. Both houses of Congress are under Republican control.