President Donald Trump reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and downgrading the role of his Homeland Security Adviser, Tom Bossert, according to a person familiar with the decision and a regulatory filing.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster was given responsibility for setting the agenda for meetings of the NSC or the Homeland Security Council, and was authorized to delegate that authority to Bossert, at his discretion, according to the filing.
Under the move, the national intelligence director, Dan Coats, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, are again "regular attendees" of the NSC’s principals committee.
Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, was elevated to the National Security Council’s principals committee at the beginning of Trump’s presidency. The move drew criticism from some members of Congress and Washington’s foreign policy establishment.
Imagine that. Ol' Steve looks to be in more than a bit of trouble over the recent revelations involving NSC leaks, Devin Nunes, and former Trump staffers cooperating with the FBI. Kicking Bannon out of the intelligence loop and restoring DNI Dan Coats to the position (shockingly Coats and the friggin Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Joe Dunford were not on Trump's National Security Council) may mean that Trump is serious about using military muscle on someone, likely North Korea or Syria.
The big winner in this shuffle is new National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. If he's calling the shots and Bannon is out of the way, I'm betting these recent events overseas has enabled somebody to talk Trump into taking a much more belligerent tone, starting with turning the NSC towards a "war room" setting. If McMaster, Dunford, and Coats are calling the shots now, things could get very serious, very quickly.
So we've gone from the NSC being Bannon's toy and front for laundering Russian propaganda and playing spy games to Bannon getting booted and the military now being in charge. I'm not sure which will be worse in the long run for the world.
We're going to find out shortly, I'd imagine.