Trump Moves to Depoliticize National Security Council, as Called for in Larsen Bill

Apr 5, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The roles of the President’s top military and intelligence advisors are restored on the influential Principals Committee of the National Security Council, as called for in legislation introduced by Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02). Additionally, Steve Bannon has been removed from the Council.

“President Trump received my message: when it comes to America’s most important national security decisions, there is no substitute for the professional advice provided by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence on the National Security Council,” said Larsen, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

In February, Trump moved to radically reorganize the National Security Council by removing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the Principals Committee. In their place, President Trump added White House chief strategist Steve Bannon – a move that threatened to undermine the bipartisan principle of striving to avoid political influence on the National Security Council.

After describing the changes as a “holy crap” moment, Larsen introduced H.R. 793, the Ensuring Sound Military and Intelligence Advice Act of 2017, legislation aimed at countering President Trump’s politicization of the National Security Council.

Today’s announcement closely follows Larsen’s bill, which would have amended the National Security Act of 1947 to ensure “if any individual whose responsibilities are primarily political is designated as a regular attendee of meetings of the National Security Council or of any body of the National Security Council, including the Principals Committee, then the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall also be designated as regular attendees of such Council or body.”

 

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