On Jan. 28, President Trump signed an executive memorandum elevating chief strategist Steve Bannon to a seat on the National Security Council. The move shocked many in Washington, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
As Rare previously reported, during her weekly news conference last week, Pelosi said, “What’s making America less safe is to have a white supremacist named to the National Security Council as a permanent member, while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of national intelligence are told, ‘Don’t call us we’ll call you.’”
Pelosi wasn’t the only one voicing her concern, though. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was also dubious of Bannon’s appointment and spoke about his concerns during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“I am worried about the National Security Council who are the members of it and who are the permanent members of it,” McCain said. “The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history. It’s of concern this … reorganization.”
Now, The New York Times is alleging that President Trump wasn’t even fully aware of what he was doing when he signed the 2,100-word memorandum that appointed Bannon to the council.
In an article published Feb. 5, the Times points to the fact that Bannon is still President Trump’s “dominant adviser” in spite of the president’s anger that “he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council.” The publication added that he was even more “frustrated” at that than the “fallout from the travel ban.”
The article’s authors cited multiple sources for their information, most of whom go unnamed, writing:
This account of the early days of the Trump White House is based on interviews with dozens of government officials, congressional aides, former staff members and other observers of the new administration, many of whom requested anonymity. At the center of the story, according to these sources, is a president determined to go big but increasingly frustrated by the efforts of his small team to contain the backlash.
At the time of this story’s publication, the Trump administration hadn’t yet responded to the Times’ jaw-dropping allegations.