President Trump’s controversial chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, was removed from the National Security Council on Wednesday, Fox News confirmed.
Bannon was put on the NSC’s “Principles Committee” as check on former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn to make sure Flynn carried through with a directive to depoliticize the NSC, a senior administration official told Fox News.
Bannon only attended one meeting of the Principles Committee and Flynn was fired from his role in early February after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about conversations he had with a Russian official.
With H.R. McMaster now established as National Security Adviser, Trump saw no need for Bannon to stay on the committee as a check on Flynn, the official said.
Bannon is still permitted to go to NSC meetings.
Bannon’s promotion to a regular NSC seat was controversial, with detractors questioning why a political adviser was being given a permanent voice on security issues.
Wednesday’s reconfiguration also promotes the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to “regular attendees.” Those roles had previously been downgraded.
Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert also had his role downgraded in the shakeup; however, Bossert can still call a meeting of the Homeland Security Council and attend NSC meetings, the administration official said.