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The Observer has not mounted an equivalent campaign on behalf of Kushner against Bannon - nor could it.

"A giant smile spreads across his face at the thought of Bannon being forced out of the White House completely", the Politico correspondent wrote. "I've not felt any pushback against me on anything I've done or advocated", Sessions said.

Mr Kushner has volunteered to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee, the White House said.

Politico reported last week that Kushner has complained to other officials about Bannon's attempts to "deconstruct the government", which Kushner believes will hurt Trump. Memorable moments from the two weeks prior to Bannon's hiring include Trump feuding with a Gold Star family, suggesting Hillary Clinton should be shot, saying he'd expect Ivanka to quit her job if she was sexually harassed, and sassing a baby at a campaign rally. Both men have garnered enormous influence inside Trump's White House. And now it appears that President Donald Trump is taking sides.

He even won a place on the National Security Council - which decides issues of war, peace and foreign policy - although that rare privilege for a political adviser was recently rescinded. Democrats waged a campaign to brand him as "President Bannon". Earlier on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer called these reports "overblown" - which, while perhaps less than honest, is the normal thing for an administration to do in situations like this. His hard-line sales pitch to the Freedom Caucus lawmakers - he told the Republicans that the White House-based legislation was not up for debate - was panned inside the West Wing as a major misstep that cost Trump votes. That scandal was a blessing in a disguise because McMaster's experience in the Middle East and his rational view of the Middle East has made him the one sane member of Trump's cabinet. But he also has drawn a line in the past when it comes to his kids. Kushner seemed to regard the Observer as just another asset in his diverse portfolio, with no special significance; Bannon considered Breitbart a force for imposing his nationalistic vision on a disgruntled electorate. One administration official told The Washington Post last week that Bannon is playing "a risky game" because it is "not a smart strategy to go up against the president and his family". It comes as another indication that the president may be edging away from the conservative-populist ideologue as an inner-circle rift plays out in the White House. "And he will continue to be Trump".


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