Just months after appointing his controversial chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to the National Security Council, President Trump has officially removed him from the post.
The move was reportedly arranged by the new national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was appointed after Michael T. Flynn’s resignation, a move spurred by the former advisor’s failure to disclose his contact with the Russian ambassador, the New York Times reports.
Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council was controversial from the start. Critics of the appointment claimed that Bannon’s presence on the council risked politicizing foreign policy. By appointing Bannon to the post, the order reduced the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national security intelligence to simply become occasional participants as opposed to equal members of the Council as it were under the President Obama administration.
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A former Goldman Sachs employee and chairman of the right-wing media site Breitbart News, Bannon has a history of making anti-Semitic statements and having ties to white nationalist groups. He is also being investigated for providing false information on a voter registration application in Florida.
Ousting Bannon is a move in the right direction. But let’s be clear: Bannon is still in the White House and still has the ear of the President as one of his top advisors. Until Bannon officially resigns from the administration, he will remain a problem to the American people.