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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

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi expects “billionaire’s tax” to pay for Biden social spending

Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday she expects the chamber to pass the bipartisan infrastructure plan by week’s end, and alternatives to corporate tax hikes and a “billionaires tax” will be used to finance President Biden’s promised expansion to the social safety net.

Why it matters: Pelosi’s comments come as House and Senate leaders try to wrap up a deal. What will get cut — and how the remainder will be paid — are linchpins to a final agreement.

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