Amid Muslim ban protests, Trump puts Bannon on National Security Council
- Author: Sylvester Abbott Jan 30, 2017,
Jan 30, 2017, 0:57
In another series of executive orders on Saturday, Pres. Donald Trump restructured the National Security Council (NSC) and created a position on it for senior aide and former Breitbart.com CEO Stephen K. Bannon. At the same time, he removed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence from regular attendance at the meetings.
"I am anxious about the National Security Council who are the members of it and who are the permanent members of it", McCain said on CBS's "Face the Nation".
"David Axelrod, for instance, who had a similar job as Bannon in the Obama administration, never sat in on Principals meetings", Liasson said. John McCain said he was "worried" about the move to add Bannon. "The president gets plenty of information from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and gets briefed and what they've done is modernize the National Security Council, so it's less bureaucratic and more focused on providing the president with the intelligence he needs", Spicer said, explaining the shuffle.
Under previous administrations, the director of national intelligence, known as the DNI, attended all meetings of the NSC's Principals Committee.
Bannon has become one of the president's most trusted, and most contentious, advisers for his ability to channel the populist and nationalist sentiment that helped propel Trump to the Oval Office.
Some lawmakers and former government officials have expressed concern over the restructuring of the NSC.
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice called the move "stone cold insane".
"This is stone cold insane. After a week of insane", she tweeted. "According to former Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, President Bush did not want to appear, especially to the military, to insert domestic politics into national security decisionmaking".
The NSC is headed by national security adviser Michael Flynn, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency before he was directed to step down by superiors. Others anxious that the new structure would rely on Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a former general who received a congressional waiver to take the posting, to represent the views of the uniformed military, which is no longer his role. The two officials will now only participate in meetings "where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed". The NSC staff was routinely sidestepped as well on budget and economic decisions even when they directly affected national and homeland security.