Trump boots top officials — but includes Steve Bannon — in reshuffled National Security Council -raw story
In another series of executive orders on Saturday, Pres. Donald Trump restructured the National Security Council (NSC) and created a position on it for senior aide and former Breitbart.com CEO Stephen K. Bannon.
The Washington Post reported Saturday night that in addition to installing Bannon on the council, Trump ordered the Pentagon to come up with a strategy to defeat ISIS and conducted his first phone call with Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and conducted calls with other heads of state.
The Post reported that Bannon has been given a regular seat on the National Security Council’s principals committee, which will include the nation’s highest ranking security officials, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State.
Unlike previous presidential administrations, Trump’s Saturday memo specified that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs will only attend principals committee meetings that pertain to their specific “responsibilities and expertise.”
The changes, Trump said, will bring “a lot of efficiency and, I think, a lot of additional safety.”
Bannon — who famously compared himself to Star Wars villain Darth Vader, former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and Satan — has already exerted a heavy hand over the formulation Trump’s foreign policy agenda, aides say, and is extending his influence ever deeper into the administration’s workings.
The former Goldman Sachs executive presided over the expansion of Breitbart.com from a fringe right-wing web community to a sprawling hub of the so-called “alt-right,” a collection of white nationalists, racists, anti-feminists and neo-Nazis.
On the council, Bannon will be privy to some of the country’s most highly classified military and intelligence secrets. Typically membership on the council is reserved to the president and key administrators and is, as columnist and author Dan Froomkin said Saturday night “off limits to political hacks.”
This week, Bannon gave a contentious interview to the New York Times in which he urged the media to “keep its mouth shut and listen” and stop reporting negative stories about the new administration.
Many in the media, including CNN’s Jake Tapper and Christiane Amanpour let Bannon know that the U.S. media isn’t prepared to be so compliant to the administration’s wishes.
Aside from Putin, Trump spoke on Saturday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzu Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French Pres. Francois Hollnde and others.
The call with Putin was described as “positive” and “congratulatory.”
Steve Bannon personally overruled DHS decision not to include green card holders in travel ban: CNN
Steve Bannon, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, personally overruled a decision by the Department of Homeland Security not to include green card holders in the president’s temporary ban on travel from Muslim countries.
But Bannon personally intervened to counter the guidance from DHS lawyers.
“The White House overruled that guidance overnight, according to officials familiar with the rollout,” the CNN report said. “That order came from the President’s inner circle, led by Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon. Their decision held that, on a case by case basis, DHS could allow green card holders to enter the US.”
The decision led Mother Jones columnist Kevin Drum to conclude that the chaos caused by Trump’s executive order had been part of the White House plan.
Remember this gem? – Steve Bannon Leninist? Ronald Radosh Daily Beast 8-21-16
Why has the Trump campaign taken as its new head a self-described Leninist?
I met Steve Bannon—the executive director of Breitbart.com who’s now become the chief executive of the Trump campaign, replacing the newly resigned Paul Manafort—at a book party held in his Capitol Hill townhouse on Nov. 12, 2013. We were standing next to a picture of his daughter, a West Point graduate, who at the time was a lieutenant in the 101 Airborne Division serving in Iraq. The picture was notable because she was sitting on what was once Saddam Hussein’s gold throne with a machine gun on her lap. “I’m very proud of her,” Bannon said.
Then we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.
Shocked, I asked him what he meant.
“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” Bannon was employing Lenin’s strategy for Tea Party populist goals. He included in that group the Republican and Democratic Parties, as well as the traditional conservative press.
I emailed Bannon last week recalling our conversation, telling him that I planned to write about it and asking him if he wanted to comment on or correct my account of it. He responded:
“I don’t remember meeting you and don’t remember the conversation. And as u can tell from the past few days I am not doing media.”