Trump refuses to give Bannon a ringing endorsement

US President Donald Trump (left) congratulates Steve Bannon during a ceremony at the White House in January 2017

US President Donald Trump has signaled fraying patience with Steve Bannon amid reports of bitter infighting between the chief White House strategist and other top aides, including son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Asked by the New York Post if he still had confidence in Bannon, Trump gave the controversial former Breitbart chief executive less than a ringing endorsement.

"I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late," Trump said in an interview published late Tuesday.

"I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn't know Steve. I'm my own strategist and it wasn't like I was going to change," he said.

Bannon, who was brought in to lead Trump's turbulent presidential campaign in a late-in-the-game shakeup, has been credited with the nationalist, anti-establishment rhetoric that helped propel the Republican billionaire into the White House.

But Bannon has come into conflict with Kushner, a traditionalist who has amassed a widening portfolio of responsibilities over White House policy.

"Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will," Trump told the Post.