×

National Security Council shake-up: Bannon out, Rick Perry in

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been removed from his seat on the National Security Council, reversing one of the most controversial decisions of the young Trump administration.

A filing on Tuesday in the Federal Register did not list Bannon as a regular attendee of NSC "principals committee" meetings, as he previously was. The change adds Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, back to the committee. It also adds Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who controls the nation's nuclear arsenal.

Despite the move, Bannon retained his security clearance, NBC said.

Bloomberg first reported the news Wednesday.

In late January, Bannon was given a full seat in a move that downgraded the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of national intelligence. It is highly unusual to give a political advisor a seat on the committee.

President Donald Trump sparked concerns with the move to make Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and driving force behind Trump's nationalism and populism, a permanent member.

Bannon originally served on the committee as a check against Michael Flynn before Flynn was ousted as National Security Advisor, a top White House official told NBC News. However, Bannon only attended one meeting and felt he was no longer needed in that role after the selection of H.R. McMaster as national security advisor.

McMaster, who Bannon wanted in the role, was given authority to reorganize the committee when he joined the White House, according to NBC.

The change also downgrades the role of Homeland Security advisor Thomas Bossert.

A senior White House official told NBC this was not a power struggle. The official said the White House was bringing back more of a George W. Bush-era-type NSC. The council will be more streamlined and the decision making more deliberative, the official said.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will also have spots on the principals committee.