Retired US Navy and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, spoke out against Steve Bannon on Wednesday, voicing his “grave concern” about Trump’s decision to appoint Bannon as a member of the National Security Council(NSC).
His concern comes from Bannon being a political operative, which he says instantly politicizes the NSC.
“Given the gravity of the issues the NSC deals with, it is vital that that body not be politicized, and Bannon’s presence as a member of that body politicizes it instantly,” said Mullen.
Mullen sat on the NSC under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. He was asked if he had any advice for the new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
“See if there’s a way to move Bannon off the council, and then certainly Mr. Bannon can give his advice to the president any other way,” said Mullen.
Mullen isn’t the first to criticize Trump’s decision to appoint Bannon to the NSC principals committee. Senator Bernie Sanders also raised his concern for this decision. “Steve Bannon sitting on the National Security Council is dangerous and unprecedented. He must be removed,” Sanders said.
Followed by, “We need experienced people who will protect our country on the National Security Council, not an extreme right-wing political operative.”