POLITICS

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's Chief Strategist, Removed From National Security Council

Appointment of ex-Breitbart News boss had been controversial.

05/04/2017 9:34 PM IST | Updated 06/04/2017 1:36 AM IST
The Washington Post via Getty Images
Presidential advisor Steve Bannon.

Donald Trump has removed chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, White House sources told The Huffington Post in the US.

The presence of Bannon, the ex-Breitbart News boss, on the influential advisory body has been controversial given the website’s ultra-nationalist views and his lack of experience.

Bloomberg, which first reported the news, said the move was part of a larger shake-up within the NSC.

Established in 1947, the council includes top officials in foreign and domestic policy, the military and the intelligence community advising the President on national security and foreign policy.

According to The New York TimesGeneral McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, pushed for the change. 

McMaster holds a more traditional view of the US’s place in the world than hyper-nationalist Bannon and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after misrepresenting contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the US.

MORE: Who Is Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist And Senior Counsellor?

But The New York Times also said the move was being presented by White House officials as Bannon completing a plan to “de-operationalize” the NSC after the Obama administration, and that the process had been completed.

In January, Trump released a memo on the organisation of his NSC, which listed Bannon as a member of the principals committee. In the new memo, Bannon’s role is no longer included in the principals committee, while other regular attendees are still listed.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images
<strong>Trump advisor Steve Bannon watches as the US President greets Elon Musk.</strong>

Bannon is seen as the link man between Trump and Nigel Farage, who has made great play of his relationship with the US President.

A piece in The Spectator last year reports how Bannon first took an interest in Ukip as he saw the party as the British equivalent of the Tea Party,

According to the Associated Press, a senior White House official said Bannon was initially placed on the NSC after Trump’s inauguration as a measure to ensure implementation of the President’s vision, including efforts to downsize and streamline operations at the NSC.

Trump’s first national security adviser, Flynn, was at the helm of the NSC at the time, but the official says Bannon’s role on the committee had nothing to do with the troubles facing Flynn, who was later asked to resign for misleading the administration about his communication with Russian officials.

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