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.
President Donald Trump has decided to reshuffle the National Security Council (NSC), downgrading the military chiefs of staff and giving a regular seat to his chief strategist Stephen Bannon.
Steve Bannon, formerly the head of the populist right-wing Breitbart News website, will join high-level discussions about national security.
The order was signed on January 28.
The director of national intelligence and the joint chiefs will attend when discussions pertain to their areas.
Under previous administrations, the director and joint chiefs attended all meetings of the NSC’s inner circle, the principals’ committee.
Image source Wikimedia
The NSC is the main group advising the president on national security and foreign affairs.
The group is led by retired lieutenant-general Mike Flynn, who was one of Donald Trump’s closest advisers and most ardent supporters during the campaign.
Donald Trump’s executive order said: “The security threats facing the United States in the 21st century transcend international boundaries.
“Accordingly, the United States Government’s decision-making structures and processes to address these challenges must remain equally adaptive and transformative.”
Last week, Steve Bannon described the US mainstream media as “the opposition party”, saying it should “keep its mouth shut”.
Breitbart News, the site Steve Bannon once managed, serves up an anti-establishment agenda that critics accuse of xenophobia and misogyny. Under Steve Bannon, Breitbart News became one of the most-read conservative news and opinion sites in the US.
PresidentTrump also ordered a restructuring of the Homeland Security Council.