President Donald Trump's decision to remove Steve Bannon from the National Security Council was the right thing to do. Someone like Bannon never belonged on the NSC in the first place.
Full disclosure: I like Steve Bannon and always have. He's one of the most brilliant people to ever work at Goldman Sachs, produce projects in Hollywood, or serve a president of the United States. I like much of what he created and published at Breitbart and agree with many of his public statements. Plus, I have a certain connection to him as we both spent our formative years in Norfolk, Virginia at a time when that very Navy-laden city was still recovering from the pull back in U.S. defense spending in the 1970s.
But Bannon is a political ideologue and political ideologues are useful in shaping policy, managing a president's public messaging, and fighting political battles. When it comes to assessing and reacting to security threats... not so much. And while many of the people in the anti-Trump chorus have been using exaggerated complaints against the new president from day one, the points they made about how someone like Bannon should never have been appointed to the NSC's Principal's Committee were legitimate.
And the many reports that Bannon was only put on the NSC to act as some kind of a check on former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn never really held much water. Wasn't there someone else in Washington with a real top level intelligence background who could have done that job? Of course there was. Many of my own sources in the intelligence community who are pro-Trump generally opposed this appointment and they are relieved by this news today.
With looming fights over tax policy, the GOP replacement for Obamacare, and trade, Bannon's inbox is full enough as it is. This move is a good one, even if it is a bit overdue.
The better news here is that this is yet another example of how President Trump is not an immovable object who cannot or will not learn on the job. Granted, it's a shame we now have our fourth consecutive president, (after Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama), who truly needs to learn a lot on the job, but at least it's happening.
The Trump administration is going to continue to adjust as the reality of the presidency continues to sink in at the Oval Office. Not all of the changes will delight President Trump's opponents as much as this Bannon shuffle, but they will come. Count on it.
Commentary by Jake Novak, CNBC.com senior columnist. Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.
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