Breaking news from the White House: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief political strategist, has been removed from his controversial seat on the National Security Council. The move happened Wednesday, and has critics on both sides of the aisle speculating on the reason for the abrupt change.
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A senior administration official told Fox News that Bannon had been seated on the “Principles Committee” of the National Security Council “as check on former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn to make sure Flynn carried through with a directive to depoliticize the NSC.”
Flynn’s removal may have meant Bannon’s controlling presence was no longer needed on the council. In fact, it is believed that Bannon only ever attended one meeting of the NSC.
Flynn was fired after he mislead Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian officials. Though those contacts were never proven to be malicious, or illegal, Flynn had lost Trump’s confidence when he obfuscated the record.
With H.R. McMaster firmly in place as Trump’s new National Security Adviser, the President has chosen to remove Bannon from the council officially.
The Principals Committee includes the treasury secretary, the secretary of state, the attorney general, the defense secretary, and the secretary of Homeland Security. Also included are the President’s chief of staff, his chief strategist, the national security adviser and the Homeland Security adviser.
In the official reconfiguration that happened Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, have both been designated as “regular attendees” of the NSC meetings. Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert had his designation downgraded also.
For more on Bannon, watch this video from Fox News: