Steve Bannon Was Just Kicked Off the National Security Council

Trump’s chief strategist loses his seat at the table.

Olivier Douliery/Pool via CNP/MediaPunch/IPX via AP

Steve Bannon has been removed from the National Security Council, according to a memorandum released by the White House on Wednesday.

Bannon, Trump’s White House chief strategist, was added to the NSC shortly after Trump took office. The move received criticism both from the media and Congress.

You can read the memo below.

The White House seems to be spinning this story two ways: (1) Bannon was put on the NSC as a check on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Now Flynn is gone, so Bannon is leaving too. (2) Obama’s NSC was bad, bloated, and “operationalized,” and Bannon was there to oversee the transition of it back to a small, sleek, advisory committee. Now the reform project is over, so he is done.

The first explanation doesn’t make a ton of sense. Flynn was fired back in early February, and presidents typically don’t hire people who can’t be trusted to be national security adviser.



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  • Ben Dreyfuss is Mother Jones' editorial director for growth and strategy. He's done some other stuff, too. You can email him at But you don't have to. But you can. But you really don't have to.