The consummate D.C. insider, Priebus has not just emerged as Trump’s public liaison to a still-skeptical GOP establishment; the 44-year-old political operative has become a trusted adviser to and staunch defender of the president-elect, even as he competes for power and influence with rivals like Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway who were with Trump from the beginning.
Those who have been in the room with both Trump and Priebus say they wouldn’t describe Priebus as deferential to his new boss. In fact, Priebus appears at ease with Trump. He doesn’t hesitate to interject and offer his opinion, and the two often banter back and forth.
“Trump and Reince have a tremendous rapport with each other,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who observed the two men interact with each other at Trump Tower during his interview for Energy secretary this month.
“Trump’s respect for Reince is very obvious. Reince was never disrespectful, but he never hesitated to jump right in. I was impressed.”