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Former Reagan Chief of Staff: Bannon As Worthy As Atwater, Rove, Jarrett

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President Ronald Reagan’s former White House Chief of Staff Kenneth Duberstein said that Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist & Senior Counselor Stephen K. Bannon is “worthy as Lee Atwater was for Bush 41, as Karl Rove was for 43, as Valerie Jarrett was” on Monday’s “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.”

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Partial Transcript as Follows:

DON LEMON: “Is it going to work with these two individuals, specially given Steve Bannon’s résumé, shall we say, or history, or as someone who is sort of on the alt-right side?”

DUBERSTEIN: My answer is it can work, but the chief of staff has to be primary. And what Steve Bannon’s role is, i think, is to reassure those people in the Trump coalition, who are the true believers, that gives President-Elect Trump the opportunity to make some compromises and make some deals and win things for America, without his base going off the deep end.

LEMON: “And so, you think Steve Bannon is there for the base?”

DUBERSTEIN: “I think he is there very much to give the president-elect…the flexibility to put together some compromises and deals, things don’t happen overnight.”

LEMON: “So, it doesn’t — because there’s a lot of hand-wringing pearl-clutching about Steve Bannon. My gosh, how can he appoint someone like that? Does that give you pause?”

DUBERSTEIN: “Of course, if the personal stories are accurate. We’ve got to figure that out. there’s a way to clear the deck on those. But being in government, compared to being in a campaign are far different. When you’re in government, every word you say, every belief you have has to be for the American people.”

LEMON:  So, the question is, is whether someone like a Steve Bannon is worthy of the Oval Office?”

DUBERSTEIN: “He’s not in the Oval Office. He is worthy as Lee Atwater was for Bush 41, as Karl Rove was for 43, as Valerie Jarrett was. I’m not talking about their personal beliefs. what i’m talking about is their ability to help the president govern, and that’s what Steve Bannon has to be about, but Reince Priebus is primary, as the chief of staff, who makes everything flow. He is the control mechanism, as every other chief of staff has been.”

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