Priebus does lunch with White House chiefs of staff, including Podesta

Priebus does lunch with White House chiefs of staff, including Podesta
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE’s incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, is meeting Friday with his outgoing counterpart at the White House.

The meeting is part of a large gathering of top and former White House aides aimed at ensuring a “smooth transition to the next administration,” according to a White House official.

President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonoughDenis Richard McDonoughFormer Obama officials willing to testify on McCabe's behalf: report Trailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care MORE, organized the luncheon, which will be attended by 10 former chiefs of staff from every administration dating back to President Jimmy Carter. 

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The gathering comes at a contentious time for the Obama and Trump teams. Tensions have heightened over allegations of Russian interference in the presidential election. 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest has sparred with President-elect Donald Trump and his aides for dismissing intelligence assessments showing that Russia hacked political organizations in order to sow doubts about the U.S. political process. 

The CIA has reportedly gone even further, believing that Moscow’s activity was designed to help Trump win.

Trump, in turn, has attacked Earnest, and his aides have accused the White House of fanning talk that Trump’s victory was illegitimate. 

On the invite list is John Podesta, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE’s campaign chairman who served as chief of staff for her husband, President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonChelsea Clinton says she's not considering a bid for New York House seat Lewinsky says Trump impeachment inquiry affects her 'personally' Mellman: Which is the right question? MORE

Former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is also attending. The Chicago mayor met last week with Trump at Trump Tower in New York City.

Others invited to attend are Obama chiefs of staff Bill Daley and Pete Rouse, top Bush aides Josh Bolten and Andy Card, George H.W. Bush chiefs of staff Samuel Skinner and Ken Duberstein, and Jack Watson, the top adviser to Carter. 

Bolten hosted a similar meeting in 2008 to welcome Emanuel to the job.