Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET
President Trump took office with an unconventional pick as National Security Adviser, and an unusual structure for his National Security Council. Now, both are gone.
White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s removal from the principals’ committee of the National Security Council on Wednesday may signal a shift towards normalcy for the NSC, which spent much of the last few months mired in controversy.
Bloomberg News first reported the changes on Wednesday. Per a regulatory filing announcing the changes, the reorganization also includes the restoration of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence as permanent members of the committee. Both permanent positions had been eliminated in January as part of a reorganization of the NSC shortly after Trump first took office.
Bannon’s placement on the NSC’s principals’ committee was an unorthodox move, as political advisors do not normally hold a permanent seat on the committee, which includes cabinet-level officials like the Secretaries of State and Defense. George W. Bush, for example, did not allow his top political adviser Karl Rove into NSC meetings. The controversy over Bannon’s role with the NSC reinforced Bannon’s public image as a kind of Svengali pulling the strings behind Trump. Bannon, whose most recent job before joining the campaign was as executive chairman of Breitbart News, leads the clique within the White House of nationalist ideologues whom I’ve referred to in the past as the “Breitbart wing.”