Donald Trump: Steve Bannon ‘a Very Decent Guy’ Getting ‘a Bad Rap’

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump defended his team of rivals in the White House, specifically his senior advisors Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.

“Bannon … he’s actually a very good guy,” Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News. The president joked that sometimes he called Bannon “alt-left” and suggested that he was “more of a libertarian” despite his widely recognized populist nationalist politics.

“You know, they give him a bad rap,” Trump added. “Bannon is a very decent guy who feels very strongly about the country.”

Trump defended his son-in-law Jared Kushner as “a very brilliant young guy” who was getting along with Bannon, after their widely reported feud in the White House.

“They’re getting along fine … they’re getting along well,” Trump said, although he admitted that “for a while it was a little testy” between the two of them.

He acknowledged that his team was “very competitive” and tried to dispel the notion that Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer were rivals. He specifically praised Sean Spicer for getting great television ratings.

“He’s become the biggest star on television now, you know?” Trump said. “He’s getting more than the ‘Bold and the Beautiful’ guys, those handsome guys that they pay a fortune, right?”

Trump said he expected to keep his team intact, but hinted that “probably people are going to get job offers.”

“You know, things happen,” he said. “But, but I’m very happy with our group. We’re doing very well.”