President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council (NSC), according to a White House memo (pdf) released Wednesday.
Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert’s role was already downgraded.
National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, meanwhile, were restored as “regular attendees” of the highest-level security meetings. National Security adviser H.R. McMaster will set the agenda.
Progressives said the shakeup was a relief, but that Bannon should be kicked out of the White House altogether.
“The elevation of white supremacists to privileged positions in the White House reveals all you need to know about this presidency,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif) said. “While I am relieved that Steve Bannon’s sick ideology will no longer infect the National Security Council, his continued presence in this administration is alarming to millions of Americans. I urge President Trump to show Steve Bannon the door and purge his administration of dangerous extremists.”
Likewise, MoveOn.org Political Action’s executive director Ilya Sheyman said the removal of “white supremacist and conspiracy theorist” Bannon will “make America safer….Now it is time to fully remove him from his role in the White House.”
Bannon, former chair of the rightwing outlet Breitbart News, was appointed to the NSC in January in a move that observers described as “unprecedented” and cause for alarm.
“To reiterate, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been removed from the National Security Council and replaced with a white nationalist. Worry,” MSNBC‘s Joy Reid said at the time.
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