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U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday removed his chief political strategist, Stephen Bannon, from the National Security Council, reversing an early appointment that had drawn the ire of foreign policy experts in Washington.
Some lawmakers and others steeped for years in U.S. foreign policy decision-making had said that it was inappropriate that Bannon, whose chief calling card is as a political provocateur disrupting the traditions of the national capital, serve on the high-level White House panel that discusses pressing national security concerns.
Before joining Trump’s campaign for the presidency last year, Bannon was a founder of Breitbart News, a far-right news, opinion, and commentary website that he has described as “the platform for the alt-right.”
Trump’s directive also restores two other key officials to the main leadership group of the security council — Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford. The president also downgraded the role on the security council of his homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert.
Trump’s national security adviser, Army General H.R. McMaster, was given the responsibility for setting the agenda for the council’s meetings.