Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart head honcho who somehow landed a top National Security Council seat, has been removed from this gig. His January appointment to the NSC, which was reportedly made by Trump in an executive order that he didn’t read, sparked loads of concern for obvious reasons. First, Bannon holds no security experience and pushes a nationalist point of view at every opportunity. Second, his elevation also arrived with the removal of key members’ permanent seats. Essentially, Bannon held more NSC clout than the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a decorated military general.
At the time, Bannon’s new position spurred national protests from those who wondered if “President Bannon” was running the show. Well, Trump has now “reorganized” the NSC to omit Bannon (although the White House says he will remain chief strategist of the administration and an advisor on national security matters). Further, Trump also downgraded Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert’s position. Here’s more, including how the formerly downgraded members will once again enjoy regular attendance:
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was given responsibility for setting the agenda for meetings of the NSC or the Homeland Security Council, and was authorized to delegate that authority to Bossert, at his discretion, according to the filing.
Under the move, the national intelligence director, Dan Coats, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, are again “regular attendees” of the NSC’s principals committee.
Why did this happen? NBC News reports (via the White House) that Bannon’s job was to be a “check on Mike Flynn,” and since Flynn is long gone (thanks to the Russia thing), Bannon’s no longer necessary for the role. True or not?
Also today — and this may mean nothing — conspiracy theorist and Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone accused Jared Kushner of trying to oust Bannon from the NSC. Normally, one should carefully evaluate anything that comes from Stone, but the new “President Jared Kushner” nickname may hold some actual truth. Also, Kushner has that horror-movie connection now, so anything is possible.