Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Steve Bannon removed from National Security Council in shakeup

Steve Bannon removed from National Security Council in shakeup

President Donald Trump has added Energy secretary and former Texas governor Rick Perry to the National Security Council after removing Steve Bannon from his role.

Trump's elevation of Bannon to a permanent spot on the NSC had been widely criticized as injecting politics into White House deliberations on sensitive defense, foreign policy and intelligence matters.

Before joining Trump's campaign for the presidency previous year, Bannon was a founder of Breitbart News, a far-right news, opinion, and commentary website that he has described as "the platform for the alt-right".

The official said the move reflected Trump's dwindling faith in his national security adviser and that Flynn's daily presentations to the president were seen as disorganized and not up to par. The council will be more streamlined and the decision making more deliberative, the official said.

"Axios said a feud is brewing in the White House between a faction surrounding Bannon and a rival group aligned with senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law".

Bannon, who never should have been on the committee in the first place, was removed via an executive order that restored the traditional White House balance of keeping political appointees out of the military and intelligence chain of command.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Bannon said "Susan Rice operationalized the NSC during the last administration". "I was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized".

Tom Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, "also had his role downgraded as part of the changes", according to the AP.

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster was behind Bannon's removal from the NSC, the Times reported.

General McMaster had struggled to gain influence inside the White House, until now.

Critics have branded Mr Bannon - who once managed populist, right-wing Breitbart News - as a white nationalist.

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