Steve Bannon, the chief strategist of President Donald Trump, was removed from the National Security Council in a shakeup Wednesday.
The decision to remove the former Breitbart News executive was made by H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s new national security adviser who replaced Michael Flynn. One source with knowledge of the matter said the decision was made by Trump himself.
Trump also restored the council into a more traditional structure by restoring top U.S. intelligence officials as permanent members, according to a presidential memorandum signed Tuesday.
The change could appease critics who were outraged by Bannon’s appointment to the council. In January, Trump authorized the reorganization of the NSC to include Bannon as a permanent member.
In a statement, Bannon said that his appointment was to ensure that the NSC was de-operationalized after Susan Rice operationalized it during the Obama administration. “Gen. McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function,” Bannon said.
The Daily Caller reports:
Trump’s appointment of Bannon incensed the national security class. Former President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice said the decision to appoint Bannon to the NSC was “stone cold crazy.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended Bannon’s appointment in late January, citing his background as a former naval officer who has a “tremendous understanding of the world and the geopolitical landscape that we have now.”