Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, was removed from his seat on the National Security Council on April 5, 2017.
“The decision, which one source with knowledge said was made by Trump himself, comes after the President in January authorized the reorganization of the National Security Council to include Bannon as a permanent member of the panel,” explained CNN.
At the time of Bannon’s addition to the council, President Obama’s National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, was fired after he was revealed to have undisclosed conversations with Russian operatives. Trump’s replacement, though, proved to be equally controversial. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland went so far as to accuse Bannon of being a white supremacist, according to Politico.
Thus, Trump confirmed Bannon into the council despite staunch opposition; and Bannon proved an unconventional addition to the Council’s distinguished peers. A former editor at Breitbart News, a right-wing publication, the juxtaposition between he and his fellow Council members was stark. Other National Security Council members include the secretary of state, the treasury secretary, and the secretary of Homeland Security, according to CNN. Such an intrusion also showcased Bannon’s own prestige.
“Bannon’s accession also demonstrated the breadth of his influence inside the White House, signaling that the former head of Breitbart News’ influence extended beyond politics and domestic policy,” wrote CNN.
Bannon’s influence, though, isn’t finished. Although he isn’t an official council member, he retains the ability to sit in on any council meeting. Thus, the effects of his demotion are minute. In the past, officials report that Bannon rarely sat in on meetings, anyway, according to The Hill.
“Bannon will still be allowed to ‘attend any meeting’ where his expertise is needed,” explained a source to CNN.
“In all the time he was there, he only attended one principals meeting. He is still welcome to attend principal meetings,” the source continued.
In short, although Steve Bannon is out of the council, his influence isn’t going anywhere.