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Win McNamee /Pool Photo / AP

Shortly after Breitbart's Matt Boyle published an extensive attack on White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, Boyle's former boss Steve Bannon exploded.

Far from Bannon orchestrating the leaks — as some have speculated — Trump's chief strategist was furious. And he let Boyle know about his displeasure with the story being published. Bannon got Boyle on the phone and gave the Washington editor "both barrels," according to a source familiar with the conversation.

Boyle's piece created nothing but trouble for Bannon. The chief strategist is trying to change the media narrative that he and Priebus are at war. All Boyle's piece did was stoke further speculation about anonymous sources behind this paragraph:

"Specifically, multiple sources close to President Trump with internal knowledge of White House operations told Breitbart News on Monday night that the buck stops with Priebus when it comes to the botched rollout of the executive order temporarily banning most travel to the United States from seven nations with a history of exporting terrorism and temporarily halting the refugee program. This news comes of course in the wake of the news that Flynn was pushed out, but also as more and more reports of a likely shake-up at the top loom.

What you need to know about Breitbart's attack on Priebus:

  • Boyle is reflecting a growing anger on the nationalist right at Priebus. But it's not just limited to the nationalist right. Priebus has made other enemies within the circles close to Trump.
  • The President is getting plenty of advice — both solicited and unsolicited — to drop Priebus.
  • Bannon is acutely aware that Breitbart is still viewed as his proxy. The idea that he'd arrange a hit piece against Priebus through his old publication doesn't pass the laugh test.
  • It's also telling that Bannon went on the record to The Atlantic's Rosie Gray telling her that Boyle's story was "absurd."

There are a lot of people on the nationalist right out to get Priebus, as Gray smartly narrates in her piece. They include Trump's old stomping partner Roger Stone, who tweeted this morning an image of Priebus with the caption "LEAKER." It's also true that Trump himself has sounded people out about the performance of his chief.

Boyle did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."

Biden's ethics end-around for labor

President Biden surveys a water treatment plant during a visit to New Orleans today. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is excusing top officials from ethics rules that would otherwise restrict their work with large labor unions that previously employed them, federal records show.

Why it matters: Labor's sizable personnel presence in the administration is driving policy, and the president's appointment of top union officials to senior posts gives those unions powerful voices in the federal bureaucracy — even at the cost of strictly adhering to his own stringent ethics standards.