White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, left, walks with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus before a lunch with President Donald Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House in Washington, Monday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON, DC (RNN) - President Donald Trump has removed White House chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council.
Bannon, a former chief of Breitbart News, was assigned the principals committee, a role Trump gave him in January.
The principals committee is a senior interagency forum "that considers policy issues that affect the national security interests of the U.S."
Regular attendees of the committee now include "the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Director of National Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Advisor, the Homeland Security Advisor, and the Representative of the United States to the United Nations."
Those placed on the committee include Rick Perry, the secretary of energy, Mike Pompeo, the director of national intelligence, and Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Optional members of the committee are "the Counsel to the President, the Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs, and the director of the Office of Management and Budget may attend all PC meetings."
A White House official said Bannon was placed on the NSC to monitor Gen. Michael Flynn, then-National Security Adviser, Bloomberg reported. Flynn left the post in February, replaced by Gen. H.R. McMaster.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the intelligence director will resume their roles on the principals committee. They had been removed from the group in January.
An administration official told the New York Times said the move was an evolution and should not be seen as a sign that Trump has lost confidence in Bannon, who still retains a high-level security clearance.
Trump was criticized for naming Bannon, a political adviser, to the council. His role as White House chief strategist followed his tenure as Trump's campaign CEO since August.
Bannon's selection as a top strategist brought outcry from civil rights and pro-equality groups. He has proudly embraced the "alt-right" movement, which includes neo-nazis and other white supremacists.
Breitbart, one of the early jumpers-on with the Trump campaign, gave the future president favorable coverage and received several exclusives in return while Bannon was in charge. The chief strategist was a founding member of the board for the right-wing, "anti-establishment" website and took over as executive chair when its namesake, Andrew Breitbart, died in 2012.
Bannon also spent time as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, was a junior officer in the Navy and has an MBA from Harvard. His work as a filmmaker included the pro-Sarah Palin feature The Undefeated and the anti-Clinton feature Clinton Cash.
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