inner circle

noun
a small, intimate, and often influential group of people.

Origin:
1870–75

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To inner circle
Example sentences
At smaller events you may be privileged to shoot from nearly anywhere,
  including the coveted inner circle.
In earlier times, the party's inner circle would have tapped one of them, and
  the convention would rally around him.
He felt that she was one of the few people in the inner circle who didn't have
  her own agenda.
It was an expression that would be repeated often within his inner circle.
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