President Donald Trump removed Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon from his post on the National Security Council Wednesday, according to officials.
Bannon was given the authority to participate in the NSC’s Principal Committee after Trump signed an executive memorandum in January.
Some experts were displeased that a political adviser was placed on the committee. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster will be given greater control of the NSC as well put the Homeland Security Council under his authority. According to officials, McMaster urged Trump to make the decision to remove Bannon from the NSC.
According to senior White House officials, Bannon, who only attended one meeting of the council, was there as a check on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was forced to resign in February after admitting to misleading White House officials on the nature of his discussions with the Russian ambassador to the United States prior to Trump’s inauguration.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford were added to the NSC’s Principal Committee as “regular attendees” under Wednesday’s revisions.
Vice President Mike Pence said in an interview with Fox News that Bannon’s removal did not mean his influence in the Trump administration was waning.
Pence said it was “just a natural evolution to ensure the National Security Council is organized in a way that best serves the president in resolving and making those difficult decisions.”