Trump drops Bannon from security council

President Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been removed from a role as a permanent member of the National Security Council, in what is being seen as a major victory for National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
Chief strategist Stephen Bannon was put in NSC's principals committee at the start of Mr Donald Trump's presidency.
Chief strategist Stephen Bannon was put in NSC's principals committee at the start of Mr Donald Trump's presidency.

WASHINGTON • President Donald Trump has reorganised his National Security Council (NSC), removing his chief strategist Stephen Bannon and downgrading the role of his Homeland Security Adviser, Mr Tom Bossert, according to a person familiar with the decision and a regulatory filing.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was given responsibility for setting the agenda for meetings of the NSC or the Homeland Security Council, and was authorised to delegate that authority to Mr Bossert, at his discretion, according to the filing yesterday.

Mr Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, was elevated to the NSC's principals committee at the beginning of Mr Trump's presidency. The move drew criticism from some members of Congress and Washington's foreign policy establishment.

A White House official said that Mr Bannon was placed on the committee in part to monitor Mr Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn, and never attended a meeting.

He is no longer needed with Mr McMaster in charge of the council, the official said.

Mr Trump fired Mr Flynn on Feb 13 for not disclosing to the President or to Vice-President Mike Pence the extent of his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, before Mr Trump's inauguration.

Under the NSC shake-up, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, are again "regular attendees" of the NSC's principals committee.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2017, with the headline 'Trump drops Bannon from security council'. Print Edition | Subscribe