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Trump's Cabinet Asserts Itself To Temper Influence Of Steve Bannon

A view over Yemen's capital city, Sana'a.
Richard Messenger/Flickr Creative Commons

While Donald Trump didn't win the popular vote, Steve Bannon didn't win any votes. Nevertheless, in executing the travel ban, apparently Bannon had to be reminded by the head of the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, that he was not Commander In Chief.

According to New York Magazine, Bannon attempted to order Kelly "not to issue a waiver exempting green card holders from President Trump's travel-ban executive order"—at which Kelly balked.

Juliette Kayyem, homeland security expert and host of "The SCIF" podcast joined Boston Public Radio to discuss how the travel ban unfolded and how foreign policy and national security are changing under the Trump Administration.

"I view the cabinet a little bit now as its own team of rivals," she said.

"A lot of the reports coming out about the executive order show that Tillerson—who had just gotten in—Mattis, and Kelly formed a united front against Bannon and simply said 'we only take our orders from the president.'"

Including green card holders in the travel ban, Kayyem explained, would have widened the circle of people affected from the thousands to, potentially, millions.

"Kelly understood green card holders are essentially citizens on waiting. They're not random people. They've been here for a long time," Kayyem said.

"I like the idea of the cabinet asserting itself," she said.

To hear more from Juliette Kayyem, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.

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