Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Is This Good? Or Just Different?

President Trump's decision to remove chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council's principals committee suggests a potentially significant change in the power balance among the four top White House advisers.

I'm not sure. If he removed Bannon because Bannon did something to piss him off, then, yes, it probably changes the power balance. If he removed him so that people would shut up about Bannon being in a position he should never have been allowed to be in, but still deals with him directly, then, meh.
The removal of Bannon from the NSC comes in the wake of a series of other moves -- most notably the arrival of Trump's daughter, Ivanka, in the West Wing -- that suggest that the president is moving away (at least for the moment) from the more hard-line ideological bent of Bannon.
That would be good if Trump himself weren't a hard-line ideologue.
To be clear: Bannon will remain in the White House -- and in a senior role. But the diminution of his power -- and in such a public way -- is a clear sign that a shakeup in the Trump power structure is under way.
The shift was orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was tapped as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser after the resignation of Michael T. Flynn, who stepped down in February.


The original setup made Mr. Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart News, a member of the principals committee that typically includes cabinet-level officials like the vice president, secretary of state and defense secretary. The original order also made the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence only occasional participants as issues demanded.

And some immediate and serious military action followed by dire events in Syria have probably made it obvious even to Old Lard Ass that he needs to let the Joint Chiefs and NID handle national security.
[The order] removes Mr. Bannon from the principals committee, restores the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and intelligence director and also adds the energy secretary, C.I.A. director and United Nations ambassador.


In addition to the changing membership of the principals committee, the new order also puts the Homeland Security Council under General McMaster rather than making it a separate entity, as Mr. Trump’s original order had done.
So I wouldn't count Bannon out yet. Just moved. These people don't know what they're doing. It's probably going to be a while before everybody is settled in - if they ever get to that point.
Members of Mr. Trump’s team said they did not mean to downgrade [the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and national intelligence director]; they simply took Mr. Bush’s original order and cut and pasted language into theirs, not realizing that the two officials had been upgraded under Mr. Obama.
...but hey, do what you will anyway.



Yep, there he is.

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