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Steve Bannon, ex-Breitbart CEO and now chief strategist for Donald Trump, was controversially appointed to the National Security Council, but has now been removed from that position.
President Trump’s controversial chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, was removed from the National Security Council on Wednesday, Fox News confirmed.
Bannon was put on the NSC’s “Principals Committee” as a check on former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn to make sure Flynn carried through with a directive to depoliticize the NSC, a senior administration official told Fox News.
That’s more than ironic given how political Bannon is.
Bannon’s promotion to a regular NSC seat proved to be a contentious move, with detractors questioning why a political adviser was being given a permanent voice on security issues.
Bannon only attended one meeting of the Principals Committee and Flynn was fired from his role in mid February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with a Russian official.
With McMaster replacing Flynn, Trump saw no need for Bannon to stay on the committee as a check on Flynn, the official said.
Bannon is still permitted to go to NSC meetings.
It sounds like Bannon was some sort of a political enforcer on the NSC, and is still hovering.
President Donald Trump reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing chief strategist Stephen Bannon from a key committee and restoring the roles of top intelligence and defense officials, according to a person familiar with the decision and a notice published in the Federal Register.
The realignment increases the influence of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, whose public stances were sometimes at odds with those of Bannon. In addition to gaining greater control over the NSC, McMaster will have the Homeland Security Council under his authority.
Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, is one of Trump’s most trusted and controversial advisers. He channeled the populist and nationalist sentiment that propelled Trump’s presidential campaign. His placement on the NSC committee drew criticism from some members of Congress and Washington’s foreign policy establishment who said it risked politicizing the security advice provided to the president.
A White House official portrayed the change as a natural progression rather than a demotion for Bannon. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contended that Bannon was placed on the committee in part to monitor Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and never attended a meeting. He’s no longer needed with McMaster in charge of the council, the official said.
The Fox News report says he attended one meeting.
Still, his departure from the NSC role was applauded by some Republicans as well as Democrats. Republican Represenative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida called it “welcome news” in a tweet.