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Trump drops Steve Bannon from National Security Council


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Trump drops Steve Bannon from National Security Council

By Steve Holland and John Walcott

REUTERS

 

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Steve Bannon departs after a meeting about the American Health Care Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump removed his chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council on Wednesday, reversing his controversial decision early this year to give a political adviser an unprecedented role in security discussions.

 

Trump's overhaul of the NSC, confirmed by a White House official, also elevated General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence who heads all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. The official said the change moves the NSC "back to its core function of what it’s supposed to do."

 

It also appears to mark a victory for national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who had told some national security experts he felt he was in a "battle to the death" with Bannon and others on the White House staff.

 

Trump's White House team has grappled with infighting and palace intrigue that has hobbled his young presidency. In recent days, several other senior U.S. foreign policy and national security officials have said the mechanisms for shaping the Trump administration's response to pressing challenges such as Syria, North Korea and Iran were still not in place.

 

Critics of Bannon's role on the NSC said it gave too much weight in decision-making to someone who lacked foreign policy expertise.

Before joining the Trump administration, Bannon headed Breitbart News, a right-wing website.

 

Bannon in some respects represents Trump's "America First" nationalistic voice, helping fuel his anti-Washington fervour and pushing for the president to part ways when he needs to with the establishment wing of the Republican Party.

 

U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives intelligence committee, called the shift in the NSC a positive step that will help McMaster "gain control over a body that was being politicized by Bannon's involvement."

 

"As the administration's policy over North Korea, China, Russia and Syria continues to drift, we can only hope this shake-up brings some level of strategic vision to the body," he said.

 

Bannon's removal from the NSC was a potential setback for his sphere of influence in the Trump White House, where he has a voice in most major decisions.

 

The White House official said Bannon was no longer needed on the NSC after the departure of Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

 

Flynn was forced to resign on Feb. 13 over his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, prior to Trump's taking office on Jan. 20.

 

The official said Bannon had been placed on the NSC originally as a check on Flynn and had only ever attended one of the NSC's regular meetings.

 

The official dismissed questions about a power struggle between Bannon and McMaster, saying they shared the same world view.

 

However, two current national security officials rejected the White House explanation, noting that two months have passed since Flynn's departure.

 

McMaster, they said, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also has duelled with Bannon and others over direct access to Trump; the future of deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, a former Fox News commentator; intelligence director Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a Flynn appointee; and other staffing decisions.

 

Trump is preparing for his first face-to-face meeting on Thursday and Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping with the threat of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs a key component of their talks.

 

Bannon's seat on the NSC's "principals' committee," a group that includes the secretaries of state, defence and other ranking aides, was taken by Rick Perry, who as energy secretary is charged with overseeing the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.

 

(Additional reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; editing by Caren Bohan and Tom Brown)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-04-06
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11 minutes ago, craigt3365 said:

Bannon is a total nutter and should never have been allowed into that role.  It was unprecedented.  Glad he's gone.  Now if Trump will just get rid of a few more....LOL

 

He did not get rid of him, only his permanent seat on the NSC. 

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Tonray adds; "He did not get rid of him, only his permanent seat on the NSC. "

 

                        True.  There are so few people at the WH who have any faith in Trump, that just nodding your head 'yes' in Trump's presence will endear you to Trump.   Bannon is keeping his head bobbing 'yes' (while grinning and winking), so Trump will keep him on.  Perhaps not as a formal member of the NSC, but Bannon can still sit in on NSC meetings and, more importantly, whisper sweet nothings in Trump's ear.  Bannon will continue to be the last person leaving the Oval Office room, so he's therefore the person who gets in the last word with Trump - therefore; the person most molding Trump's feeble thoughts on important issues.  

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28 minutes ago, boomerangutang said:

Tonray adds; "He did not get rid of him, only his permanent seat on the NSC. "

 

                        True.  There are so few people at the WH who have any faith in Trump, that just nodding your head 'yes' in Trump's presence will endear you to Trump.   Bannon is keeping his head bobbing 'yes' (while grinning and winking), so Trump will keep him on.  Perhaps not as a formal member of the NSC, but Bannon can still sit in on NSC meetings and, more importantly, whisper sweet nothings in Trump's ear.  Bannon will continue to be the last person leaving the Oval Office room, so he's therefore the person who gets in the last word with Trump - therefore; the person most molding Trump's feeble thoughts on important issues.  

He's keeping his head bobbing for sure .....55555

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Bannon's empty chair filled by..... Rick Perry.  Jeeeez!  :blink:

 

I hope, against hope probably, that Trump gets a handle on his seat of the pants hiring style.  He's said before he hires people who seem smart and "look the part", only to find out later they are morons.  It may have been contrived, but he hired an attractive black female, military vet, who asked him a question from the crowd on the campaign trail.  You look good, and smart, you're hired "sweetie". 

 

 

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                   That's a new angle the Russkies (or Iranians or N.Koreans or.....) could use to infiltrate the WH.  Get a pretty woman or cute young man to be in the presence of Trump.  Main requirement, dress nice, well groomed, chuckle and smile at everything Trump says.    When that person catches Trump's eye, he can point at  him/her and say, "There. I want that person to assist me."   Everyone around will smile and chuckle.

 

               Since Trump doesn't bother vetting any of the people closest to him (neither does Pence, and that's one of Pence's prime duties), it would be easy for a foreign adversary to get someone in on Trump's inner circle.  P.S. I'm only half kidding.

 

                  Actually, the Russkies don't need to bother doing something elaborate like that.  They're already intimately entwined with Trump.  They probably know the type of laundry detergent is used for his pillow cases, and how much salt he puts on his pork chops.  

 

                 My mom was a US spy during the Vietnam war.  She got a job (clandestine via the US State Dept.) as secretary to the S.Vietnamese ambassador stationed in Wash. D.C.  She would have access to nearly all his communications.  She once joked:  if The USSR wanted to debilitate Americans, they could put poison (or LSD) in the machine which puts gum on postage stamps.

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1 hour ago, boomerangutang said:

She once joked:  if The USSR wanted to debilitate Americans, they could put poison (or LSD) in the machine which puts gum on postage stamps.

Now they go one better and just put a virus in the glue that holds emails together.  :wink:

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8 hours ago, webfact said:

 

Trump is preparing for his first face-to-face meeting on Thursday and Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping with the threat of North Korea's nuclear and missile programs a key component of their talks.

Ho Hum

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                      We already know that Kushner couldn't get a security clearance if vetted by an objective/professional security detail.   Bannon?  questionable, though thus far, Bannon's name doesn't come up re; Russian entanglements.  The weirdest fact is;  Trump couldn't get a security clearance, even to enter the WH grounds, if he was vetted to the same degree as regular workers at the WH or State Dept.

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18 hours ago, webfact said:

The official dismissed questions about a power struggle between Bannon and McMaster

When you consider that two White House officials (identified as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office and was previously counsel to Mr. Nunes’s committee) likely provided Nunes the classified documents surreptitiously without notification or approval from NSA Director McMaster (aka end-run) at the request of Bannon, Trump would have faced either McMaster's resignation or Bannon's removal from the NSA Council. McMaster won that power struggle.

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If Bannon leaves the WH administration (resign or whatever), I wonder how wounded he will be by the whole thing? He probably has a fair amount of secrets that the "waste-of-space" POTUS doesn't want getting out. Bannon still has ties to several media outlets in which to air some interesting dirty laundry. It would be great to see Bannon get some bare knuckled revenge against those who pushed him out of the WH.

 

 

Steve Bannon threatened to quit when Donald Trump removed him from National Security Council

https://www.palmerreport.com/news/steve-bannon-threatened-quit-donald-trump-removed-national-security-council/2195/

 

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On 4/6/2017 at 7:59 AM, craigt3365 said:

Bannon is a total nutter and should never have been allowed into that role.  It was unprecedented.  Glad he's gone.  Now if Trump will just get rid of a few more....LOL

 

Including himself!

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