Trump adds Steve Bannon to national security team

Spicer said Rice's criticism was "inappropriate" and that Trump receives "plenty of information" from the chairman of the joint chiefs.

"Under the president's announced structure, Bannon has eclipsed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence on the National Security Council".

In his conversation with Abu Dhabi's crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the White House said Trump "raised the idea of supporting safe zones for the refugees displaced by the conflict in the region, and the crown prince agreed to support this initiative", according to the White House readout.

Obama's former national security advisor Susan Rice tweeted over the weekend that his decision to alter to the National Security Council in this way is "stone cold insane". Hard as it is to imagine any situation in which their views would not add value, this demotion is even harder to countenance given the threats the United States now faces and the frayed state of the president's relations with the intelligence community.

In theory, the move puts Bannon on the same level as Michael Flynn, the national security advisor, a former Pentagon intelligence chief who was Trump's top advisor on national security issues before a series of missteps reduced his influence. A president who has no national security experience and can use all the advice he can get has chose to limit the input he receives from two of the most important advisers any president could have.

They will only attend meetings when 'issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed, ' a directive says. The official maintained that while few staffing announcements have been made publicly, the NSC staff's ranks of senior directors and career staff is nearly completely filled. An interview between him and Trump released past year features Bannon pushing back on the president's suggestion that high-skilled immigrants should be allowed into the United States. Although the White House chief of staff is typically a participant in NSC deliberations, I do not know of another situation in which a political adviser has been a formal permanent member of the council.

After the election, Bannon's appointment to a key Trump advisor and strategists with office space in the White House caused an uproar among Democrats and in the media. His expanded role in the White House was followed on Saturday by the hashtag, #StopPresidentBannon, trending on Twitter.

Bannon, who supports a border adjustment tax floated by the administration, was even able to find common ground on the subject with Speaker Paul Ryan who he had previously called a "globalist". "He's got a tremendous understanding of the world and the geopolitical landscape that we have now", Spicer said, per the Associated Press.

According to a New York Times report on Sunday, interviews with "two dozen Trump insiders and current and former national security officials" suggest that Bannon has more influence over Trump than nearly anyone except son-in-law Jared Kushner.


Even though - while he was at Breitbart News - Bannon offered up endless opinions on any number of subjects, ranging from climate change to our posture in the Middle East, these positions were nearly always at odds with those of professional worldwide and security experts.

The move shook up the council's traditional composition, diminishing the role of military and intelligence leadership, reports Time.

The inclusion of Bannon brings politics into the situation room in a completely unprecedented way. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaking on Sunday's Face the Nation.

But drama on the committee isn't unheard of.

Raddatz asked specifically what Bannon provides to these meetings.

"I'd like to remind the former national security adviser that when the memo was drafted in 2009, I don't see the Obama administration including the Central Intelligence Agency in theirs", Spicer said.

Of the three executive actions signed on Saturday afternoon, the NSC restructuring may raise the most eyebrows, based on who is being added and who is getting dropped. According to reports, the Secretary of Defense and director of Homeland Security were not consulted; the State Department was caught unawares.

"I don't answer questions from you because you are not a truthful reporter, and I will not answer any of your questions", he said.

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