Trump's leadership picks point to extremes within Republican Party

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President-elect Donald Trump is raising eyebrows for his first two picks to his team. (WLS)

President-elect Donald Trump is raising eyebrows for his first two picks to his team.

While Trump spent months campaigning against the Republican establishment, he chose Reince Preibus - the ultimate insider - as his chief of staff.

At the same time, established Republicans are furious over Steve Bannon as Trump's pick for chief strategist.

Preibus and Bannon will be working together, but how they'll do it remains to be seen as Trump's picks are a nod to the different extremes in his party.

"People who voted for him that were concerned about what he might do are taking comfort in one or the another, not necessarily both," said Ben Epstein, a DePaul University political science professor.

As the gatekeeper and the bridge to Congress, Priebus' appointment as chief of staff makes many mainstream republicans comfortable, but they are not happy with Bannon in the Oval Office.

Former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady knows Priebus well and is hopeful Priebus will have more influence than the Bannon.

"I don't like the pick either. I don't know why you would put that guy up there, particularity when you are trying to mend fences," Brady said.

Steve Bannon is considered the leader of the Alt-Right Movement. His right wing opinion and news site Breitbart has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism and white nationalism. Democrats are outraged and call on Republicans to be just as concerned.

"What would people have said if Barack Obama's first act as president-elect was to appoint William Ayers? People would have gone nuts and Democrats wouldn't have stood for it. That's how Republicans should look at this," said State Sen. Daniel Bliss, D-Skokie.

"I'm more happy about the Priebus pick than worried about the Bannon pick," Brady said.

Republicans are willing to give president-elect Trump time on how he plans to govern.

Bannon's job as chief strategist is a new role, unlike the chief of staff, which is a defined job.

At this point, it is anybody's guess on how influential Bannon will be in the Oval Office.
Related Topics:
politicsdonald trumpu.s. & worldrepublicans2016 electionpolitics
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