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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

President Trump's message to his feuding inner circle during a Thursday summit at Mar-a-Lago was blunt, according to a source with direct knowledge: "You guys are close. Knock it off. Work together."

The extraordinary presidential intervention, amid war planning on Syria, was aimed at resetting a West Wing consumed with palace intrigue as Trump closes in on his administration's 100-day mark.

Ignition: The stealth combat had come to a head midweek, when chief strategist Steve Bannon's departure from the National Security Council was revealed. Bannon was fed up with the incoming he was taking — and so were his allies, inside and outside the White House. Bannon had sparred with economic adviser Gary Cohn (or, as Bannon's allies call him, "Globalist Gary"), and suspected the economic adviser was trying to undermine nationalists in the West Wing.

A flurry of high-level leaks about Bannon supposedly threatening to resign — something he said he wasn't contemplating — convinced his allies that Jared Kushner, the president's adviser and son-in-law, had also turned on him.

One of Bannon's closest allies commiserated: "Do you know what happened with Jared? Him and Steve had such a close relationship."

Escalation: By Thursday, allies said Bannon had gone full honey badger — embracing the newsroom motto of Breitbart, which he once headed: "Honey badger don't give a sh**." Bannon told associates: "I love a gunfight."

Settlement: The situation had become unsustainable, and the president stepped in with the instruction to "knock it off." On Friday, there was a meeting among Priebus, Bannon, Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump.

The meeting was "100 percent" focused on moving the president's agenda, said one source. But the subtext was clear: The boss wanted them to make up and disarm. Although he had been considering changes on his top staff (and names of possible replacements had circulated among senior aides), they were being given the chance to fix it themselves.

Bannon had fought internally against the Syrian intervention — one of the most momentous decisions of Trump's young presidency — and lost. On Saturday, his camp said new domestic policies are coming that reflect his worldview. But Kushner allies insist a new, less combative, more centrist Trump will still emerge.

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Go deeper

48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.

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