With thousands of Americans protesting President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban at airports across the country, one move the week-old president made Saturday seems to be getting lost in the melee.
Trump, in another executive order, reorganized the National Security Council to give his chief strategist Steve Bannon a seat at the committee’s table. The NSC aids the president on national security and foreign policy and attendees include senior national security officials such as the secretaries of state and defense.
The order also relegates seats for the director of national intelligence and the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman to only when discussions require their “responsibilities and expertise.” Under presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, those positions attended meetings regularly.
Trump said the NSC revamping will bring "a lot of efficiency and, I think, a lot of additional safety,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Bannon, who formerly ran the alt-right news site Breitbart News that is favorite by white nationalists, has been instrumental in managing Trump’s foreign policy and was at the president’s side when he spoke via phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders in the Oval Office Saturday.
The president also commanded on Saturday that the Pentagon submit a plan to defeat the Islamic State group within 30 days. Prior to the order, officials in the military were already working on action plans that include sending additional advisers to Syria and Iraq and giving more decision-making control to field commanders, the Tribune reported.
While many cable news channels were not covering the Bannon NSC news late Saturday night, the Twitterverse was — and some felt the Muslim ban was a cover for the Bannon move.