Well, the writing on the “there’s trouble on Pennsylvania Ave.” wall just gets bigger and brighter by the hour.
Donald Trump (or, officially, Trump’s new national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster) has apparently kicked Steve Bannon – or, as we like to call him, a “preexisting condition” – off the National Security Council where he had no place being in the first place. Here’s Bloomberg:
President Donald Trump reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and downgrading the role of his Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, according to a person familiar with the decision and a regulatory filing.
The move to give Bannon a seat at the table was widely criticized from the word “go” because … well … because putting a known racist and conspiracy theory-prone lunatic on the Security Council seemed like a really, really silly thing to do.
But here’s the punchline from Bloomberg:
A White House official said that Bannon was placed on the committee in part to monitor Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and never attended a meeting.
So Bannon’s job was to keep an eye on the guy who colluded with some Russians which sounds a lot like the fox watching the henhouse.
“Susan Rice operationalized the NSC during the last administration. I was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized,” Bannon said, adding that “General McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function.”
The new order issued by Trump also restores the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and intelligence director and also adds the energy secretary, C.I.A. director and United Nations ambassador to the principals committee.
Clearly, the reasons for this go well beyond what the White House is saying despite protestations to the contrary.
Two senior White House officials said Bannon’s departure was in no way a demotion and that he had rarely attended meetings since being placed on the council. They and others interviewed for this story asked for anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
More to come.