Trump’s order makes his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, a regular member of the Principals Committee. The committee is Cabinet-level group of agencies that deal with national security that was established by President George H. W. Bush in 1989. Every version of it has included the Joint Chiefs chairman and the director of the CIA or, once it was established, the head of the DNI. The President’s chief of staff was typically included as well.
Bannon’s presence reinforces the notion he is, in essence, a co-chief of staff alongside Reince Priebus, and demonstrates the breadth of influence the former head of Breitbart News has in the Trump administration.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, offered praise for the administration’s national security team writ large, but expressed concerns about Bannon.
“I think the national security team around President Trump is very impressive. I don’t think you could ask for a better one,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“I am worried about the national security council who are the members of it and who are the permanent members of it. The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which is a radical departure from any national security council in history,” he said.