Close advisers hold major sway in President Trump’s administration

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Close advisers hold major sway in President Trump's administration

Though U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to decide on all his appointments within the administration, some close advisers have already been established.

CGTN’s Sean Callebs takes a closer look.

Close advisers hold major sway in President Trump's administration

Close advisers hold major sway in President Trump's administration

Though U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to decide on all his appointments within the administration, some close advisers have already been established. CGTN’s Sean Callebs takes a closer look.
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As the oldest daughter of a global real estate mogul, now U.S. President, Ivanka Trump has spent her entire life in the spotlight.

Also, working in the background – and increasingly in the forefront – is Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner.

The 30-something real-estate tycoon has emerged as one of Donald Trump’s closest advisers.

It was Kushner who encouraged Trump to reach out and call President Xi when the U.S.-China relationship was most fraught. It was Kushner who encouraged Trump to support the “One-China” policy after the newly-elected president waffled on an issue China considers non-negotiable.

China’s Ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, reached out to the Kushners—inviting them, and the couple’s daughter, Arabella, to the Chinese Embassy in February.

In an administration that has sent mixed messages on China, U.S. media reports say Kushner favors diplomacy and win-win solutions. That has put him at odds with other Trump insiders.

Since entering the White House, Trump has spent many weekends at his lush private resort, Mar-a-Lago in south Florida.

It’s where he routinely talks to a handful of trusted, close advisers who helped him become U.S. Commander in Chief.

Among his top aides is Steve Bannon, who last year predicted the U.S. and China would go to war over issues surrounding the South China Sea. Before joining Trump’s team, Bannon served as a media executive for the right-wing Breitbart News Network.

It’s part of Bannon’s winding path to the White House which included time as an investment banker and a stint in the U.S. military.

“Having worked with him and known him, Steve Bannon — in this particular campaign — in general, he was much more than a Goldman Sachs managing partner, and much more than the naval officer than people realize,” Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump.

China has downplayed Bannon’s predictions of war.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that any “sober-minded politician” could see both sides would end up losing in such a conflict.

“We attach importance to the position the new U.S. Defense Minister Mattis has stressed, which is through diplomatic efforts to resolve the South China dispute,” said Wang Yi.

But the administration appears split on this and trade.

Another top adviser, Peter Navarro, is the head of the U.S. National Trade Council—and is a staunch China critic.

Navarro rose to fame with a book called “Death by China” on the massive U.S. trade deficit with China.

Despite all the public posturing, China continues to respond in a controlled fashion.

“We hope the U.S. side can work with China to maintain a healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations, including trade relations, which serve the interest of both countries,” said Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

That’s something Jared Kushner appears to support. The big unknown, though, is how Trump and his hawkish advisers will respond.

The U.S. president has tipped his hand somewhat, in a tweet, saying he expects meetings will be ”difficult.”


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