President Donald Trump has removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the Director of National Intelligence from the National Security Council (NSC), while adding White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon.
This unprecedented move means that the president’s intelligence and military advisers will not be with him when he is making critical national security decisions.
By replacing the highest ranking military and intelligence officers with Bannon, who helped lead far-right news site Breitbart before earning Trump’s ear during the campaign, Trump has broken a presidential tradition of not mixing politics with the NSC.
“The last place you want to put somebody who worries about politics is in a room where they’re talking about national security,” Leon E. Panetta, a former White House chief of staff, defense secretary and CIA director in two Democratic administrations, told The New York Times.
“I’ve never seen that happen, and it shouldn’t happen. It’s not like he has broad experience in foreign policy and national security issues. He doesn’t,” Panetta said. “His primary role is to control or guide the president’s conscience based on his campaign promises. That’s not what the National Security Council is supposed to be about.”
Nevertheless, Trump — whose aides say gets bored quickly and watches cable news for policy decisions, according to The Washington Post — will only listen to the intelligence and military community’s leadership on an as-needed basis, with no regular briefings and no permanent spot at the proverbial table.
Bannon will more than likely be the gatekeeper in deciding who is allowed into Trump’s decision-making inner circle. Trump allowed Bannon to run point on the recent refugee ban, for example, during which Bannon did not consult the respective agencies in charge of carrying out and making sure it was legal.
Next, discover why Christian leaders across the country oppose Trump’s Muslim refugee ban, before reading up on the new calculations showing that Trump’s border wall will cause major environmental damage.