Steve Bannon And Reince Priebus’ ‘Friendship’ Sounds Like A Buddy Cop Movie Gone Horribly Wrong

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What if Zeus Carver (Samuel L. Jackson) didn’t prevent John McClane (Bruce Willis) from getting killed in broad daylight in Die Hard With a Vengeance? What if an aged, curmudgeonly Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover or Damon Wayans) refused to get involved with his new suicidal partner, Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson or Clayne Crawford) in the Lethal Weapon franchise? As should be obvious, McClane’s death would rendered the third Die Hard film kaput and Riggs and Murtaugh’s nonexistent partnership wouldn’t have resulted in a successful film franchise and television remake. These pillars of the “buddy cop” genre wouldn’t exist.

Nor would they have provided an enlightening (though fictional) means of comparison for the supposedly budding “friendship” between Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff and chief strategist respectively. Ever since the two were named by the Trump transition team, several reports have suggested the pair weren’t on the best of terms. As recently as last week, The New Yorker described them and their competing staffs as “warring camps,” and it seems they’re tired of it. Hence Bannon and Priebus’ recent conference call with New York‘s Olivia Nuzzi, in which their attempts to sound chummy came off as… weird:

“We talk a lot, pretty much all day long,” Priebus said. “And then we communicate at night –”

“Until we fall asleep,” Bannon interjected with a laugh.

Priebus cut in, “Until somebody falls asleep… You fell asleep last night.”

“I did,” Bannon said.

“I think, like, a quarter to 11,” Priebus added.

“I did,” Bannon said.

“He became unresponsive,” Priebus laughed.

In addition to joking “off the record” about Priebus giving Bannon his “daily back massage,” the two men vehemently denied there was any tension between them or their staff members. “We actually like and care about each other a lot,” said the chief of staff, adding: “Then we see these things, yeah, it bothers us because it sort of hurts our friendship, and it’s not truthful.” Bannon, however, was far more forceful in his condemnation of the media’s treatment of the matter: “The opposition party… [has] to come up with the gossipy stuff. It’s just like on the campaign.”

Then again, as President Obama’s former senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer told New York, “If you read between the lines in some of the anonymous quotes, it’s clear that Bannon, Kushner, and Priebus are spending half their time blaming each other and the other half ensuring they don’t get the blame.” So whatever the truth of Bannon and Priebus’ alleged friendship is, the end credits for their buddy cop adventure likely won’t feature War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”

(Via New York magazine)