President Trump has decided to remove his key adviser Steve Bannon from the National Security Council (NSC).
Steve Bannon’s appointment in January raised fears that the circle of US intelligence chiefs was being politicized.
However, a White House aide said the reshuffle was not a demotion for Steve Bannon, who used to head up Breitbart News.
The aide said Steve Bannon was only given a seat on the NSC to keep an eye on National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in February.
The NSC is the main group advising the president on national security and foreign affairs.
The White House did not announce April 5presidential executive order detailing the shake-up – it only came to light in a regulatory filing.
The reshuffle also restores the director of national intelligence, CIA director and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to full participation on the NSC’s inner circle, its principals committee.
Critics have branded Steve Bannon as a white nationalist.
In its January 27 memorandum elevating Steve Bannon, the White House had also downgraded the military chiefs of staff, provoking widespread criticism in Washington’s foreign policy and security establishment.
The director of national intelligence and the joint chiefs were advised they only needed to attend NSC meetings when discussions pertained to their areas.
The White House bridled in January at criticism of the Bannon move, pointing out that President Barack Obama‘s former adviser, David Axelrod, regularly attended NSC meetings.
However, David Axelrod was never appointed to the principals committee, as Steve Bannon was.