WASHINGTON:Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, has lost his seat on the powerful National Security Council in a high-level shakeup, a US official confirmed on Wednesday.
Trump’s elevation of Bannon to a permanent spot on the NSC had been widely criticized as injecting politics into White House deliberations on sensitive defense, foreign policy and intelligence matters.
A former head of the far-right website Breitbart and now chief White House strategist, Bannon is regarded as a controversial proponent of the nationalistic anti-globalism that helped propel Trump to the White House.
In a presidential memo dated April 4, Bannon no longer appears on the list of regular attendees of NSC meetings.
Confirming that he has been removed as a permanent NSC member, a White House official said the move resulted from a reorganization by Trump’s new national security advisor, Lieutenant General HR McMaster.
McMaster took over February 20 after his predecessor Michael Flynn was fired amid a scandal over his secret conversations with Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said McMaster has his own ideas about how to do things and Trump had promised he could name his own people to the NSC.