President Donald Trump removed chief political strategist Steve Bannon, a self-declared “white nationalist,” from the National Security Council this week, reversing a controversial early decision to give Bannon access to the high-level top-secret and confidential information and play what many called a “dangerous role” in top security matters.
A memorandum about the composition of the NSC, published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, no longer lists Bannon, who once rain Breitbart News, as a member of the Principal’s Committee, a group of high-ranking officials that convene to discuss pressing national security priorities.
The new memo also restores the director of national intelligence and the Joint Chiefs chairman to the Principal’s Committee.
Sources say Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who replaced fired Michael T. Flynn, orchestrated the removal of Bannon, agreeing with others that a political adviser in a sensitive area was both inappropriate and dangerous.
Flynn — ousted for lying to Trump, Vice President Michael Pence and others about his questionable ties to Russia — was the first Trump selection to be removed from the counsel. Bannon’s removal sparks speculation that Bannon may be out of the White House altogether before long.
Others say Bannon’s role on the Principal’s Committee was to keep an eye on Flynn and no longer is needed in the role and has missed meetings recently.
Bannon turned Breitbart into a haven for white supremacists and conspiracy theorists, was accused by an ex-wife of spousal abuse and told a private school where he was intending to enroll his daughter that he did not want her to be “around Jews.”
“Trump knows the clock is ticking on his Presidency and he’s trying hard to implement a reset,” says a White House insider. “He will also sacrifice others to avoid responsibilities for his actions.”
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