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Trump plans centrist push and Priebus is on board

Kevin Hagen / AP

Steve Bannon, the engine and soul of President Trump's hard-edged approach to his first months in office, is increasingly isolated and will be forced out unless he can adopt a more cooperative approach, a top source told me.

On both style and substance, Bannon got crosswise with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who are pushing for a more competence- and results-driven focus for the West Wing.

In their view, Bannon is too inclined to want to burn things down and blow things up. They want a more open process driven by the interests of the president, not ideology.

A senior official said Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is "with the program" of a more inclusive style, and will stay. Insiders have been feverishly discussing possible replacements and Trump considered a change, but the official said: "Reince is staying."

The latest from the "Game of Thrones," on location in Mar-a-Lago this weekend:

  • The changing culture: Here are the two crucial words to understand the outgoing style and incoming style: We're told that rather than "nationalist" vs. "globalist," think of "combat" vs. "collaboration."
  • How the Bannon bubble burst: The last straw for his internal critics: news stories portraying Bannon as the keeper of the Trump flame, in opposition to Jared, Ivanka and economic adviser Gary Cohn — all New Yorkers.
  • Playing defense: Bannon's allies both inside and outside the White House are scrambling to try to save his job, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports. They argue that getting rid of Bannon will cost Trump among his "America First" constituency, and that Trump's key to victory is to keep his base motivated.
  • What's next: This weekend, Bannon, Kushner and Priebus are having discussions about whether the marriage can be saved: "Either Steve becomes a team player and gets along with people, or he'll be gone."
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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 8 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.