Washington, DC. President Trump shocked and angered many of his most loyal supporters by demotion of adviser Steve Bannon out of his position on the President’s National Security Council.
The demotion for Bannon increases the influence of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, whose public stances were sometimes at odds with those of Bannon. In addition to gaining greater control over the NSC, McMaster will have the Homeland Security Council under his authority.
The change downgrades the role of Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, who had been given authority to convene or chair the NSC’s principals committee under Trump’s original structure. McMaster is considered by many to be an unstable, anti-Russian military officer with Neocon connections and credentials.
Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, was one of Trump’s most trusted and controversial advisers. He has channeled the populist and nationalist sentiment that propelled Trump’s presidential campaign to victory. His removal is seen as confirmation Trump is not actually in control of the US government, but a figurehead taking orders from the US corporate-defense establishment.
A White House official spun the change as a natural progression rather than a demotion for Bannon. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contended that Bannon was placed on the committee in part to monitor Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and never attended a meeting. He’s no longer needed with McMaster in charge of the council, the official said.