Steve Bannon, President Trump’s Chief Strategist and part of Trump’s national security organization, has just been removed from his National Security role as Trump replaced him with senior military officials. The move was pushed forward by President Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
Trump Fires Bannon
The National Security Council came under fire and drew protests from both the left and right sides of the aisle as Steve Bannon received a senior role in such a sensitive position without any prior experience nor Senate confirmation hearing. The main concern was that Bannon would sensationalize and politicize foreign policy with an extreme sense of populism.
What’s Next for Bannon?
The move should actually be seen as a positive for Bannon rather than “stepping down”. As Chief Strategist for President Trump, Bannon needs to be able to focus on his core responsibilities there, as opposed to overseeing the country’s national security issues. According to the White House, Bannon’s original role in the NSC was to ensure a proper transition from the Obama administration to Trump’s, and to keep an eye on Trump’s original National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn. Flynn stepped down under allegations of improper communications and relationships with Russian officials. With Flynn gone, Bannon no longer needs to monitor the situation.
In that role, Bannon would have decided national security issues which would not find their way to the president’s desk. However, senior advisors have traditionally not been a part of the national security council. But while Steve Bannon may no longer be on the NSC, he appears to still have President Trump’s complete confidence and continues to weigh in on national security matters, keeping his top-level security clearance.
McMaster’s Show of Power
The move comes as a show of power for Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s new National Security Adviser. McMaster has come under fire for being more of a figurehead than having any power, especially where hiring or firing was concerned. There seemed to be a growing divide between the Lieutenant General and the President, as McMaster was reported to be upset about having no say in important security position hirings. Now, however, McMaster just got a huge vote of confidence from the president by relegating Steve Bannon back to his primary role as Chief Strategist for the White House. The decision takes some of Bannon’s power within the administration away, as many critics were concerned about one man having multiple powerful senior positions within the administration.
Bannon is still welcome to attend any NSC meeting in which his expertise may be needed.