Ivanka Trump and former chief strategist Steve Bannon clashed over President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter’s authority in the White House, according to a new book that describes the “Crazytown” of Trump’s White House.
The Washington Post reported journalist Bob Woodward’s upcoming book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” contains an account of an “expletive-laden altercation” that was part of the Trump White House’s overall stormy atmosphere.
“You’re a goddamn staffer!” Bannon reportedly screamed at Ivanka. “You walk around this place and act like you’re in charge, and you’re not. You’re on staff!”
Bannon’s frustration reportedly stemmed from Ivanka’s tendency to bypass former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, who other aides had to go through, and exercise her special access to her father.
Ivanka apparently replied: “I’m not a staffer! I’ll never be a staffer. I’m the first daughter.”
Ivanka and her husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, have been controversial members of the administration, reportedly contributing to tensions with other administration members who see their senior positions and unfettered access to the president as solely due to nepotism.
The unsettled chain of command, in addition to the special counsel’s scrutiny of Trump’s close associates and 2016 campaign, reportedly added to the negative atmosphere. The Post reports Priebus is quoted in Woodward’s book describing White House staffers as “natural predators.”
“When you put a snake and a rat and a falcon and a rabbit and a shark and a seal in a zoo without walls, things start getting nasty and bloody,” Priebus reportedly said.
In a statement on Woodward’s book, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad.”
Woodward’s book, set to be released next Tuesday, comes from hundreds of interviews with participants and witnesses, along with meeting notes, personal diaries, and government documents.
It also comes on the heels of a bombshell, though widely refuted, book by former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman that prompted sharp rebuttals from the administration.