U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council Wednesday, after deciding he was no longer needed to change the role of the NSC, according to a senior White House official.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster will remain on the NSC, and the removal of Bannon is seen as a boost to McMaster and other generals on the NSC. The order puts the Homeland Security Council under General McMaster. Officials have said McMaster struggled to work with Bannon.
A senior White House official, speaking anonymously, said Bannon was no longer needed on the NSC after the departure of Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who stepped down in February after getting caught misleading Vice President Mike Pence and others about his contact with Russia’s ambassador Sergei Kisylak.
The official said Bannon was on the NSC as a check on Flynn, and had only attended one of the NSC’s regular meetings.
In addition to keeping an eye on Mr. Flynn, an anonymous official told the New York Times that Bannon was to “de-operationalize” the NSC after the Obama administration. This would mean reducing the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the national intelligence director. The official said that process had been completed.
Reportedly, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been added to the principals committee, the primary group of policy-makers within the NSC.
The reaction about Bannon’s departure was mixed.
Bannon says he was put on NSC to "de-operationilize" it. Think the word he was looking for was "dysfunctionalize." Mission accomplished. pic.twitter.com/1QoaoZWadT
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 5, 2017
Don’t give Pres. Trump credit for removing Steve Bannon from NSC. His twisted ideology shouldn’t have been welcomed in the first place.
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) April 5, 2017
— POLITICO (@politico) April 5, 2017
Tell Stephen Bannon the only person who truly operationalized the NSC was Oliver North. (He and I are both old enough to remember that.)
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) April 5, 2017
Complete text of the order:National-Security-Council-Stephen-Bannon
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