Priebus dishes on White House chaos, Sessions’ near-resignation

Reince Priebus, who served as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff for six short months before being pushed out of the White House, is now dishing on his ex-boss.

But then, there’s a new book out soon.

“Take everything you’ve heard and multiply it by 50,” Priebus reportedly told writer Chris Whipple of the chaos he witnessed in the West Wing during his tenure.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, left, with former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Vanity Fair released an excerpt Wednesday from an updated version of Whipple’s book, “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency,” set to be released next month.

Priebus spoke about the turbulence in the White House over Trump’s decision to fire former FBI director James Comey, sharing juicy details of a reported blow up between then-chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“There’s not a f*cking thing you can do to sell this!” Bannon screamed at Kushner, according to the excerpt. “Nobody can sell this! P. T. Barnum couldn’t sell this! People aren’t stupid! This is a terrible, stupid decision that’s going to have massive implications. It may have shortened Trump’s presidency—and it’s because of you, Jared Kushner!”

Of course, we now know Trump was right in the decision, which may help explain why Bannon was eventually jettisoned.

Priebus says he alone averted Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ from resigning, as he detailed a dramatic scene where he caught Sessions in the nick of time after being told he was walking.

(Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

“‘I said, ‘What!? What the hell are you talking about?'” Priebus recalled to Whipple. “I said, ‘That can’t happen.'”

The former White House chief of staff explained how he scrambled to avert disaster, bolting down the stairway to the West Wing parking lot to catch Sessions sitting in the parking lot with engine running.

“I knocked on the door of the car, and Jeff was sitting there and I just jumped in and shut the door,” Priebus said, according to the excerpt. “And I said, ‘Jeff, what’s going on?’ And then he told me that he was going to resign. I said, ‘You cannot resign. It’s not possible. We are going to talk about this right now.’ So I dragged him back up to my office from the car.”

Priebus went on to say Sessions would submit a resignation later that night, adding that he convinced Trump to reject it.

In the end, Priebus says he harbors no ill will toward President Trump: “I still love the guy. I want him to be successful.”

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Tom Tillison


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