This is our look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington:
- Trump's Supreme Court pick is Neil Gorsuch
- Homeland Security secretary says countries on banned list "may not be taken off anytime soon"
- Acting attorney general fired by Trump
- Trump orders agencies to cut back on regulations
- White House clarifies how new immigration policy affects green-card holders
President Trump is revamping the advisory circle of national security experts in his White House, and the new configuration reflects the sharp rise of his controversial aide Steve Bannon.
Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, is now invited to sit in on all meetings of the National Security Council, while key experts like the director of national intelligence and chairman of the joint military chiefs will only participate when specifically summoned.
The decision is raising questions in national security circles. Bannon is the former head of the right-wing Breitbart News website who declared last week that the news media should be considered “the opposition party” during the Trump era. Bannon was a key link for Trump with the nationalist “alt-right” movement during the campaign.
“Stone-cold crazy,” is how former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice described the decision in a tweet on Sunday, sarcastically asking, “Who needs military advice or intell to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?” using acronyms for Islamic State and North Korea.
But Trump’s top spokesman defended the decision on Sunday morning, telling ABC’s Martha Raddatz that Trump is simply trying to “streamline” the decision-making process and cut down on the bureaucracy.
Bannon is a former Naval officer, said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, adding that it’s only right for the president’s top strategist to “come in and talk about what the strategy is going forward.”
Bannon has a “tremendous understanding of the world,” said Spicer.