BANNON LOSES POWER; STRIPPED OF SECURITY CLEARANCE
White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been removed from his National Security Council role, reversing one of the most controversial decisions of Trump’s young administration.
A Tuesday filing in the federal registry did not list Bannon as a regular attendee of NSC “principals committee” meetings, as he previously was. The change adds Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, back to the committee.
In late January, Bannon was given a full seat in a move that downgraded the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence. It is a highly unusual to give a political advisor a seat on the committee.
Trump sparked concerns with the move to make Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and driving force behind Trump’s nationalism and populism, a permanent member.
Bannon originally served on the committee as a check against ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, a top White House official told NBC News. However, Bannon only attended one meeting and felt he was no longer needed in that role after the selection of H.R. McMaster as national security advisor.
McMaster was given authority to reorganize the committee when he joined the White House, according to NBC.