President Donald Trump's decision to reorganize the National Security Council and move adviser Steve Bannon into a role on the forum is unprecedented, according to the chief strategist for Barack Obama's presidential campaigns David Axelrod.
"Ten days in, this much is clear: Steve Bannon is playing a role in national security and foreign policy for which there is no precedent," Axelrod wrote in a CNN op-ed published Monday. "And for better or worse, he already is making an impact."
Bannon will join the top interagency group for discussing national security while the Director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will only be called to sit in on principals meetings on an ad hoc basis.
"In elevating Bannon to sit with the Secretaries of Defense and State and other key national security figures on the NSC principals committee, President Trump has blazed new ground," added Axelrod, who served as a senior adviser to Obama.
Axelrod wrote the op-ed after White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Axelrod and press secretary Robert Gibbs attended classified National Security Council meetings "all the time."
"That is simply not true," Axelrod wrote. "We did not attend the president's regular meetings with the Secretary of Defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff nor with the Secretary of State. We did not sit in on the president's daily intelligence briefing. Our expertise was in politics and communications, not national security and foreign policy, and our attendance, much less participation, in these meetings would have been inappropriate."
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