President Donald Trump stunned some observers a few months ago when he announced that White House adviser Steve Bannon would be a member of the National Security Council — a very unusual move.
Now, Trump has removed Bannon from the NSC in a shocking turnaround, The Hill reported. For months, Trump has resisted calls to remove Bannon, but it appears he has finally caved.
As of Wednesday morning, it was unclear what exactly triggered this sudden removal. The filing that announced this change was dated Tuesday and also noted that the Joint Chiefs chairman and director of national intelligence will have their roles on the Principals Committee (what the NSC is called when the president isn’t in the room) restored.
The Washington Examiner noted that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster had been given authority to set the agenda for NSC meetings as well.
Bloomberg noted that a White House official stated that the only reason Bannon was on the committee was to monitor former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and now that Flynn is gone there was no need to for Bannon on the NSC.
CNN also noted that Flynn had been trying to “deoperationalize” the NSC, and Bannon was largely there to oversea that work.
Hopefully Bannon’s removal was simply due to Flynn no longer being on the council. The liberal media has been calling for Bannon’s ouster for months, and if Trump removed Bannon to appease them, that would be disappointingly out of character for the president. Trump promised to shake things up in Washington, and Bannon’s inclusion on the NSC was seen as being a major step toward doing just that.
Hopefully the Trump administration will explain this decision to the American people quickly so speculation doesn’t run wild.
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