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By Kevin Daley
ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl told “This Week’s” Martha Radatz Sunday that Gen. John Kelly, the newly-minted White House chief of staff, will be a far more powerful presence in the West Wing than his predecessor, Reince Priebus.
Karl says Kelly’s potential rivals have diminished in stature since the start of the administration, while President Donald Trump himself is a Kelly enthusiast, regularly touting the general’s successes at the Department of Homeland Security.
“He comes in as a much more powerful chief of staff than Reince Priebus ever was,” Karl said of Kelly, explaining that he will have fewer rival constituencies to ameliorate.
Karl argued this was especially true given the eclipse of chief strategist Steve Bannon’s influence in the West Wing. Though he still enjoys the president’s favor and is pursing items on Trump’s domestic agenda, Bannon plays little role in foreign policy making and was something of a non-presence in the health care fight that has subsumed the administration in recent weeks.
“No question that Bannon is not the power player in that White House that he once was,” he said.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 30, 2017
Priebus left the administration Friday after returning from a trip to Long Island, N.Y. with the president. Trump, Kelly, and other senior administration officials were seen dining at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night.
The president announced Kelly’s appointment in a tweet.