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Trump removes Bannon from National Security Council

Trump removes Bannon from National Security Council

President Donald Trump removed chief political strategist Steve Bannon, a self-declared "white nationalist", from the National Security Council this week, reversing a controversial early decision to give Bannon access to the high-level top-secret and confidential information and play what many called a "dangerous role" in top security matters.

But The New York Times also said the move was being presented by White House officials as Bannon completing a plan to "de-operationalize" the NSC after the Obama administration, and that the process had been completed.

The shift was orchestrated by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was tapped as Trump's national security adviser after the resignation of Michael Flynn, who stepped down in February after being caught misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with Russia's ambassador.

McMaster was named national security adviser in late February after Michael Flynn, Trump's first pick for that role, was sacked less than a month into the job following revelations that he had misled Vice President Pence over his conversations with a Russian official on USA sanctions during the transition. Get email alerts from KSAT12 today.

Bannon, who led Trump's campaign in its final months, was elevated in January to a position on the NSC principals committee in a shakeup that drew widespread criticism that Trump was trying to politicize the council.

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In a statement to the Times, he used the phrase "just like other prominent and controversial people" to describe his situation. Their claims ran the gamut from verbal abuse to vulgar comments to unwanted advances. "I think he's a person I know well".

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the intelligence director will resume their roles on the principals committee.

Now with Flynn gone, Bannon is no longer needed, the official said.

"General McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function", he added.

Bannon is still permitted to go to NSC meetings. The official said Bannon only attended one meeting of the principals committee. In recent days, several other senior USA foreign policy and national security officials have said the mechanisms for shaping the Trump administration's response to pressing challenges such as Syria, North Korea and Iran were still not in place.