Bannon Attends National Security Council Meeting After Being Removed From Committee

Jonah Bennett | Contributor

White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon showed up at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting Wednesday after he was removed from the body’s principals committee.

A source with knowledge of the situation told CNBC that Bannon attended a council meeting after the White House stated he had been removed from the principals committee, as he was no longer needed there to observe former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

H.R. McMaster has since taken over Flynn’s role.

 “It was a new administration and it was a big philosophical thing we wanted to do,” the official said, referring to the initial decision to place Bannon on the principals committee. “But now we’ve got McMaster in here, and he philosophically is going to do that.”

“He is off the memo as a member of the principals committee,” CNBC’s source added, “but the president or McMaster can invite him to attend at any time.”

A White House official also told The Atlantic much of the same story, saying Bannon’s departure from the NSC had been planned from the beginning.

However, progressive groups have taken Bannon’s removal as a victory against “white supremacy” and “extremism.”

In particular, Jewish Voices for Peace said the decision represents a move “away from tyranny.”

GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain also approved of the move.

Bannon, who maintains a security clearance, will likely attend future NSC meetings on an ad hoc basis. Now with the change in place, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will now be regular attendees again at the principals committee of the NSC.

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