Donald Trump has removed Chief Strategist Steve Bannon from a top policy-making committee, according to an order made public by the president today.
Bannon was removed from the principals committee, which makes national security policy. Other officials were restored to the committee in his place.
National security expert Juliette Kayyem said Bannon’s removal from the committee was the right choice.
“You don’t want a political strategist to have an equal vote with the secretary of state and the head of the U.N. on these issues,” she said. “It is a bad path to go down for the national security council to have someone like Bannon.”
Kayyem called Bannon’s now-revoked position “outrageous” and referenced the controversy surrounding Bannon’s original placement on the committee.
When Bannon was elevated to the position on the committee in January, some accused Trump of trying to politicize the issue of national security. They also questioned his decision to downgrade other officials while Bannon was given a prominent role.
“It got a lot of criticism,” said Kayyem.
She said the shuffling of the committee was orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s current national security adviser.
McMaster replaced Gen. Michael Flynn, who resigned amid controversies related to conversations he had with the Russian ambassador.
Kayyem pointed out that McMaster was living up to expectations.
“[McMaster] was going to align the national security council into a more traditional mode which is principals are principals; they’re subject matter experts,” she said.
Kayyem also said McMaster still has work to do as he cleans up in the wake of Flynn’s short and controversial tenure as national security adviser.
“We’re not done yet,” she said. “There’s some remnants of the Flynn legacy.”
She called the decision “good news.”
“It was a position that the White House never should have been in,” said Kayyem.
National security expert Juliette Kayyem is the founder of Kayyem solutions, an analyst for CNN, and host of The SCIF podcast. She also serves on the faculty of the Kennedy School. To hear her interview in its entirety, click on the audio link above.