White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (C) leaves a meeting of the House Republican caucus at the U.S. Capitol March 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon (C) leaves a meeting of the House Republican caucus at the U.S. Capitol March 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:38
Bannon no longer on National Security Council
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:49
Bannon predicts government shutdown over wall
exp GPS 0603 BANNON ON ROSENSTEIN_00003117.jpg
exp GPS 0603 BANNON ON ROSENSTEIN_00003117.jpg
Now playing
00:58
Steve Bannon's advice to Trump on Rosenstein
steve bannon cambridge analytica facebook data bash intv_00002202.jpg
PHOTO: CNN
steve bannon cambridge analytica facebook data bash intv_00002202.jpg
Now playing
00:42
Bannon: I don't remember buying Facebook data
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: (AFP OUT) (L to R) White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus look on as President Donald Trump meets with Senate and House legislators, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers included in the meeting were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: (AFP OUT) (L to R) White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus look on as President Donald Trump meets with Senate and House legislators, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers included in the meeting were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:46
WaPo: Bannon aiming to cripple Mueller probe
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a debate with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:08
Bannon says MLK Jr. would be 'proud' of Trump
Steve Bannon
PHOTO: AFP
Steve Bannon
Now playing
01:20
Bannon: Wear 'racist' label as badge of honor
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on December 2, 2017. 
Trump is returning to Washington, DC after attending fundraisers in New York, New York. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on December 2, 2017. Trump is returning to Washington, DC after attending fundraisers in New York, New York. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:20
Trump slams Bannon: He lost his mind
Steve Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News Network LLC, speaks during a campaign rally for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, not pictured, in Midland City, Alabama, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Alabama's senior member of Congress, strongly condemned Moore on Sunday as the contentious campaign for the state's open senate seat nears its end. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PHOTO: Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Steve Bannon, chairman of Breitbart News Network LLC, speaks during a campaign rally for Roy Moore, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alabama, not pictured, in Midland City, Alabama, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Republican Senator Richard Shelby, Alabama's senior member of Congress, strongly condemned Moore on Sunday as the contentious campaign for the state's open senate seat nears its end. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Now playing
01:23
What Bannon thinks will take down Trump
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:22
The ups and downs of the Bannon insurgency
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16:  Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Trump, arrives at a House Intelligence Committee closed door meeting, on January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The committee is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Trump, arrives at a House Intelligence Committee closed door meeting, on January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. The committee is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:59
Mueller set to question Bannon on Flynn, Comey
Now playing
01:35
Toobin: Bannon had a real 'ax to grind'
steve bannon moore trump washington post bash lemon ctn_00000827.jpg
PHOTO: WMUR
steve bannon moore trump washington post bash lemon ctn_00000827.jpg
Now playing
00:51
Bannon compares Moore, Trump WaPo stories
Steve Bannon addresses the California GOP 2017 Convention in Anaheim, California on October 20, 2017.
PHOTO: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Steve Bannon addresses the California GOP 2017 Convention in Anaheim, California on October 20, 2017.
Now playing
01:45
Bannon tells Trump: Fight back against Mueller
Steve Bannon takes the stage at a Roy Moore rally on December 5, 2017.
PHOTO: CNN
Steve Bannon takes the stage at a Roy Moore rally on December 5, 2017.
Now playing
00:51
Steve Bannon comments on Roy Moore accusations
PHOTO: CBS
Now playing
00:57
Bannon: Comey firing was a mistake

Story highlights

Reports suggest factions of White House staffers are at odds

But that's the way Trump designed things

(CNN) —  

There’s a new article in The Daily Beast that suggests White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been calling senior adviser Jared Kushner some unflattering names behind his back.

Here’s the key passage:

One official said Bannon has lately complained about Kushner trying to “shiv him and push him out the door” and likened him to a fifth column in the White House.

“[Steve] recently vented to us about Jared being a ‘globalist’ and a ‘cuck’…He actually said ‘cuck,’ as in ’cuckservative,’” the administration official told The Daily Beast.

Cuckservative is a portmanteau of conservative and cuckold. It was born out of the alt-right movement and meant to suggest a lack of moral conviction among establishment Republicans.

On one level, it’s a pretty incredible report. One top Trump adviser is blasting another as a fake conservative less than 100 days into the President’s term. And the Trump adviser on the receiving end of the name-calling also happens to be married to Trump’s daugher, Ivanka.

It’s the stuff great soap operas are made of. “On the next episode of ‘White House’ Jared confronts Steve!!!!!”

On the other hand, President Trump built a senior staff structure that virtually guaranteed this short of infighting. He deputized four people – Bannon, Kushner, chief of staff Reince Priebus and counselor Kellyanne Conway – but did nothing to demarcate where one’s duty ended and another’s began.

Not only that: Bannon, who ran the conservative Breitbart News website before signing on with Trump’s campaign, is as anti-establishment as they come. Priebus is the face of the establishment, having served several terms as the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Conway’s roots are in the social conservative wing of the Republican party; Kushner is socially liberal and has a documented history of donating to Democratic candidates.

Trump knows – and knew – all of this. And he did it anyway. Why? Because he believes tension and rivalry yield results. Go back to “The Apprentice,” the reality TV show Trump and Mark Burnett dreamed up. The final scene each week is Trump, flanked by two deputies, overseeing a free-for-all power struggle between the show’s contestants. That’s Trump’s idea of how a workplace functions best.

That fact is what makes Trump different from the average politician – and the average person. He doesn’t avoid conflict. He embraces it. He set up a White House senior staff designed to create it. And so, while you might see chaos, Trump sees his system working.

What remains to be seen is whether Trump’s approach can work in the world of politics. While all White Houses have feuding elements, few are as open about it as this one. And few of these major conflicts develop so early in a president’s term.

Trump promised an unorthodox approach to politics, something no one has ever seen before. He appears to be delivering.