This would have made bigger headlines yesterday were it not for the protests at airports over President Trump’s executive order on immigration.
This is a big deal.
From Business Insider:
President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum Saturday that removed the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers as regular attendees of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, the interagency forum that deals with policy issues affecting national security.
The executive measure established Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon as a regular attendee, whereas the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence will be allowed to participate only “where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”
“The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history,” Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday.
“The one person who is indispensable would be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in my view,” McCain added. “So it’s of concern, this ‘reorganization.'”
John Bellinger, an adjunct senior fellow in International and National Security Law at the Council on Foreign Relations and former legal adviser to the National Security Council, wrote on Saturday that the change is “unusual.”
“In the Bush administration, Karl Rove would not attend NSC meetings,” Bellinger said. “According to former Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, President Bush did not want to appear, especially to the military, to insert domestic politics into national security decision-making.”
With his permanent seat at the NSC meetings, Bannon has been elevated above the director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, who was not offered an open invitation.
Remember that Steve Bannon has no experience in national security. He ran a white nationalist propaganda website until six months ago.