Five people, including a senior administration official and several sources close to the president, tell POLITICO that Bannon, one of Trump’s closest advisers, has clashed with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who’s taken on an increasingly prominent portfolio in the West Wing. Bannon has complained that Kushner and his allies are trying to undermine his populist approach, the sources said.It's good to have 5 sources, but I can't tell what happened that justifies the verb "clashed." That could mean a lot of things, and I'm suspicious that journalists antagonistic to Trump are eager to impose a chaos template. (It seems to alternate with the evil template.)
Republican mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, a longtime Bannon confidante who became a prominent Trump supporter during the campaign, urged Bannon not to resign. “Rebekah Mercer prevailed upon him to stay,” said one person familiar with the situation....
Politico observes that Kushner's power has "ballooned":
He has helped to expand the authority of two senior West Wing officials who, like him, are less ideological in nature: former Goldman Sachs executives Gary Cohn, who is now chairman of the National Economic Council, and Dina Powell, the deputy national security adviser for strategy. The national security directive removing Bannon from the NSC explicitly authorized Powell to attend the National Security Council's Principals' and Deputies' Committee meetings.I'm familiar with the name Gary Cohn only because I just read — in a NYT interview transcript — Trump's reaction when Gary Cohn sneezed:
TRUMP: God bless you. You O.K., Gary? That was a pretty tough one. I’ve got to make sure my man is all right.I don't know if Trump and Cohn have a sneeze-and-response routine to break the tension. It happened right when Maggie Haberman was bearing in, looking for specifics about which U.S. airports really deserve to be called — as Trump had put it — a "horror show." But I'll assume it was a random sneeze, and Trump loves to spontaneously switch topics. It's fun. It makes him look cute and smart (or so he may think). And it makes it hard for others to keep up even as he looks as if he's not racing ahead. He's manifesting distractability, and it makes them think he's less competent. But everyone laughed, and Trump got away with never saying exactly which airports are a horror show.
Oh, yes — do I seem distractable? — there's all that chaos around Trump. Bannon and Jared are clashing. Cohn is sneezing.
And Rebekah Mercer is... holding people together? I know who Rebekah Mercer is, because I read Jane Mayer's piece in The New Yorker, "THE RECLUSIVE HEDGE-FUND TYCOON BEHIND THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY/How Robert Mercer exploited America’s populist insurgency":
[Robert Mercer] poured millions of dollars into Breitbart News.... By 2016, Breitbart News claims, it had the most shared political content on Facebook, giving the Mercers a platform that no other conservative donors could match. Rebekah Mercer is highly engaged with Breitbart’s content. An insider there said, “She reads every story, and calls when there are grammatical errors or typos.” Though she doesn’t dictate a political line to the editors, she often points out areas of coverage that she thinks require more attention. Her views about the Washington establishment, including the Republican leadership, are scathing. “She was at the avant-garde of shuttering both political parties,” the insider at Breitbart said. “She went a long way toward the redefinition of American politics.”Much more about Robert and Rebekah Mercer at that New Yorker article. Back at the Politico piece, we see that Jared Kushner supposedly thinks that Rebekah and Robert Mercer "have taken too much credit" for Trump's victory and that he has "misgivings about their go-it-alone approach to outside spending boosting Trump’s agenda."
“If Bannon leaves the White House, Bekah’s access and influence shrinks dramatically,” said the GOP operative who talks to Mercer.