Priebus counsels White House staff to ignore ‘distractions’

Former White House chief of staff Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusDems make history in Tuesday's primaries National Archives warns it can't fulfill Kavanaugh documents request until October Trump asks chief of staff Kelly to stay through 2020 MORE during an interview on Sunday counseled Trump administration staffers to ignore “distractions” after a week of upheaval.

“I think what the staff has to do is focus in on the results,” Priebus said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I think what the president does is, and he writes about it even in his own books, is he puts rivals around him intellectually," he said. "You have people like [Commerce Secretary] Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOn The Money: US-China trade talks to resume | Mnuchin warns of more Turkey sanctions | How Turkey's financial crisis could roil the US | Senate GOP seeks tax law fixes Watchdog files criminal complaint against Ross over stock holdings Reforms can stop members of Congress from using their public office for private gain MORE … and [National Economic Council Director] Gary Cohn. And he puts those two guys in front of him and says, ‘OK, fight out tariffs in front of me.' "

"And they fight it out, and the media covers the fight. But, ultimately, the decision is made," he added. 


"Look at the economy, look at [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria], look at the courts," Priebus, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said. "The decisions and the things that President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE has done have put him on a great course. If you’re a Republican, you couldn’t be happier."

His comments follow a week during which White House communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksTrump officials pushing Hope Hicks to join 2020 campaign: report Hope Hicks spotted boarding Air Force One ahead of Trump rally Omarosa questioned by feds over Cohen ties to National Enquirer publisher: report MORE announced her departure; damaging stories about senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerConnect Beltway to America to get federal criminal justice reform done Steve Schmidt: Trump revoking Brennan's clearance shows his 'autocratic fetish' Cotton: Reducing mandatory minimum sentencing isn’t reform, it’s jailbreak MORE were published; President Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum, pitting key aides against one another; and the president’s tone vacillated on gun control.

Trump also targeted Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court nomination reignites abortion fight in states | Trump urges Sessions to sue opioid makers | FDA approves first generic version of EpiPen Connect Beltway to America to get federal criminal justice reform done Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE on Twitter, and the White House had to deny reports that national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Cohn planned to leave the administration.