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Navarro pushes back on reported workplace behavior: 'If people get in the way ... there will be conflict'

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is pushing back on a report about his workplace behavior that alleged verbal abuse, particularly against young female staffers, saying on Thursday that “there will be conflict” if he views officials as impeding his job. 

“My mission in this administration is to serve as a soldier for the greatest commander in chief ever, and my job is to help this president do two things: save American lives and create American jobs. And if people get in the way of that, there will be conflict. And I make no bones about that. So this is a tough town,” Navarro said on CNN.

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The Washington Post reported that Navarro berated other officials over their policy views, with the article saying young women appeared to suffer the most verbal abuse.

“He just started behaving like a czar on something he knows very little about, calling and ordering people to do things,” one business executive familiar with his approach told the Post, which based its report on interviews with 28 current and former administration officials and others.

Navarro on Thursday dismissed the article as a “quintessential Washington hit piece” and said the article was meant to hurt him in his “public feud” with Amazon chief Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: Privacy, immigrant rights groups slam 'smart wall' proposal | New DHS policies aim to fight cyber 'epidemic' | Twitter exploring allowing users to charge for content Bezos-backed rocket launch delayed til next year Hillicon Valley: Krebs is back on Capitol Hill | Cybersecurity as 'preeminent threat' | News on data privacy and voter security MORE, who also owns the Post.

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“Here’s what I’m saying Alisyn, one of my charges in this administration is going after strongly the people who engage in counterfeit trafficking, and one of the biggest enablers of counterfeit trafficking is none other than Amazon and Jeff Bezos,” he told CNN host Alisyn Camerota. “You are well aware that there’s been a public feud between Bezos and I, it’s been well-publicized.”

Navarro added that he had “absolutely not” been admonished over his conduct.

Navarro has developed an outsize role in the White House over his proximity to President TrumpDonald TrumpDonald Trump Jr. calls Bruce Springsteen's dropped charges 'liberal privilege' Schiff sees challenges for intel committee, community in Trump's shadow McConnell says he'd back Trump as 2024 GOP nominee MORE, emerging as one of the president’s chief defenders on television and staunchest advocates for his aggressive trade agenda.

He raised eyebrows with his public criticism of Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci: Whatever COVID-19 vaccine is available, 'take it' Julia Roberts presents Award of Courage to Fauci: 'You have been a beacon for us' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help MORE, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert who has played a high-profile role in the administration’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“He has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” Navarro wrote in a July op-ed in USA Today attacking Fauci.