CNN Analyst: Experts 'Alarmed' by 'Stone-Cold Crazy' Decision to Put Steve Bannon on Security Council

Steve Bannon’s placement on the National Security Council is highly unusual, according to CNN’s chief national security correspondent.

Bannon, who serves as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, was elevated to the inter-agency group that coordinates national security decisions, while the director of National Intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were downgraded.

“Those are both Senate-confirmed positions, the White House strategist — that’s the title of Bannon — not Senate-confirmed,” said CNN’s Jim Sciutto, who served as a foreign policy advisor to former President Barack Obama. “You had additional voices piping in on who these seats at the table would be, you have a good sense of (their) views and the experience.”

Sciutto reported that previous officials who served in those positions were shocked that Bannon, a political appointee, had been promoted at the expense of experienced professionals.

Susan Rice, who served as Obama’s national security advisor, described the reshuffling as “stone-cold crazy.”

Rice warned that Gen. Joseph Dunford, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and Mike Dempsey, the acting director of national intelligence were sidelined as “after thoughts” and the CIA had been “cut out of everything.”

Robert Gates — who served as defense secretary for both Obama and former President George W. Bush and also served as CIA director and director of national intelligence — expressed concern that Trump had removed the only two officials who were required by law to advise the president on the National Security Council.

“Keep in mind, those are people who have sat in on those meetings in very trying times for this country alarmed by those changes,” Sciutto said.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.