The unprecedented move minimizes legitimate national security voices while elevating propaganda leader Steve Bannon.
WAND Executive Director Megan Amundson responds to President Trump’s Order to put Stephen Bannon on the National Security Council:
“President Trump’s placement of Stephen K. Bannon on the National Security Council (NSC) is unprecedented. Never before has a political adviser been given such a prominent role in national security decision-making, and for good reason: political advisors are unqualified to make complex and nuanced national security decisions, which is why the NSC exists. Bannon is advising the President on decisions based on his extreme, white-supremacist ideology instead of a facts-based approach to protecting the interests of the United States.
“Bannon is added to the NSC while the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence roles are minimized. The Secretary of Energy, responsible for our nation’s nuclear stockpile, was removed completely from the NSC. This is not how government with an interest in protecting our country operates.
“Bannon’s influence is already remarkable: He directed the creation of the Executive Order to ban refugees and other immigrants based on nationality and religious belief. Additionally, multiple media outlets have reported that he overruled guidance by the Department of Homeland Security in its interpretation of that order by saying that it would apply to lawful permanent residents of the United States. These actions immediately spawned protests in airports across the country over the weekend, with courts imposing a temporary injunction on sections of the ban.
“President Trump is giving Bannon increasingly broad authority to silence diverse and qualified perspectives on policy making. What makes this particularly egregious is Bannon’s overarching worldview. As the head of Breitbart media, he proudly gave a platform to a fringe white supremacist movement. In August 2016, he was quoted in the Daily Beast as saying, ‘I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.’ In just over a week in President Trump’s term, he is already achieving his goal.
“Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle cannot stay silent in the face of this development. Americans all over the country are rightfully concerned about Bannon’s influence over President Trump, and they should be. Members of Congress are elected to be the voice of their constituents and advocate for their best interests, and WAND demands that they denounce Bannon and call on President Trump to remove him from the White House without delay.”
WAND will monitor Bannon's influence through NSCwatch.org, a website designed to keep the public informed about troubling developments at the NSC and what they can do to express their concerns and hold their elected officials accountable.