President Trump on Wednesday removed controversial White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon from the National Security Council, part of a sweeping staff reshuffling that elevated key military and intelligence officials to greater roles on the council and left Bannon far less involved in shaping the administration’s day-to-day national security policy.
Two senior White House officials said Bannon’s departure was in no way a demotion and that he had rarely attended meetings since being placed on the council. They and others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
Bannon's place on the committee had been a subject of intense controversy when the move was announced in January. National security experts, including a former Obama administration official, characterized it as an elevation of a White House official with no national security experience, even while other national security officials in the administration were included on the NSC only when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise” were involved. The White House later added the director of the CIA to the NSC.
The White House strongly disputed that characterization, saying that Trump chose to change the structure of the committee from the one in place during the Obama administration to reduce the number of meetings in which senior intelligence officials were required to participate if they did not pertain to their areas of expertise.
Instead, one of the officials said, Bannon was put on the council early in the administration to guide and keep watch over then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was tasked with reshaping the operation. That official and a second official said Bannon did this from afar, attending one or two meetings of the group.
Bannon was there to “de-operationalize” the NSC from its Obama-era setup, the official added, and he feels that has been accomplished with Flynn and his successor H.R. McMaster and no longer feels the need to be part of the NSC.
You can read the rest at the Washington Post.