Donald Trump gave his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, a seat on the National Security Council. A move that Trump was not “fully briefed” on.
Trump used his executive power to remove the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers as regular attendees of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, and instead offered Bannon a regular seat at the table.
Before Bannon was Trump’s chief strategist, he was the CEO of an alt-right white supremacist website called Breitbart News, known for its antiestablishment and white-nationalist positions on issues such as immigration and trade.
According to the New York Times reporters Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman, who talked to dozens of anonymous government officials to get a clear understanding of what Trump’s White House looks like, Trump may not have anticipated the backlash.
“For the moment, Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser,” The Times wrote in its piece on Sunday, “despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.”
Trump tweeted on Monday morning, calling the New York Times’ story “total fiction.”
Retired U.S. Navy admiral, Michael Mullen, wrote an op-ed article in The Times on Monday making the case that Bannon “doesn’t belong” on the National Security Council’s Principals Committee.
“The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history,” Republican Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” after Trump signed the executive action. “The one person who is indispensable would be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in my view. So it’s of concern, this ‘reorganization.'”