Reince Priebus: The Trump White House Staff Are All “Natural Predators”

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The president's first chief of staff compared the White House to "a zoo without walls" and staff to "natural predators".

President Donald Trump’s former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus likened the White House to “a zoo without walls”, filled with “natural predators, according to author and journalist Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, “Fear.”

Such tensions boiled among many of Trump’s core advisers. Priebus is quoted as describing Trump officials not as rivals but 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 says.

Woodward provided examples of the “nasty and bloody” goings on in the West Wing, including a spat between former White House adviser Steve Bannon and the president’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump:

“You’re a goddamn staffer!” Bannon screamed at her, telling her that she had to work through Priebus like other aides. “You walk around this place and act like you’re in charge, and you’re not. You’re on staff!”

Ivanka Trump, who had special access to the president and worked around Priebus, replied: “I’m not a staffer! I’ll never be a staffer. I’m the first daughter.”