“I know more about ISIS than the generals. Believe me.”
Donald J. Trump on the 2016 presidential campaign trail
The president must actually believe what he said while campaigning for the office way back when.
How else does one explain his decision to scale back the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — his top military officer — while elevating the role of senior policy adviser Steve Bannon on the National Security Council?
This is yet another mind-boggling, head-scratching move from the president as he settles into the only public service job he’s ever sought, let alone occupied.
The NSC is the panel of experts on which the president relies to give him all the details on national security threats. The Islamic State, along with the myriad other foes around the world, comprise a potential and potent threat to our security.
What’s more, the director of national intelligence also has seen his role diminished under the Trump administration’s new way of doing things.
You might be wondering — as I have been wondering — what kind of unique expertise does Bannon bring to the discussion? Well, he served in the Navy once. That must count for something.
He earned his political spurs, though, while running the right-wing website Breitbart.com — the organization that has spewed some white nationalist rhetoric.
The NSC comprises something called the “Principals Committee.” It will include the following individuals, according to CNN:
“Regular members of the Principals Committee will include the secretary of state, the treasury secretary, the defense secretary, the attorney general, the secretary of Homeland Security, the assistant to the President and chief of staff, the assistant to the President and chief strategist, the national security adviser and the Homeland Security adviser.”
Sen. John McCain calls the Joint Chiefs chairman the individual who is supposedly “indispensable” to the president on these national security issues.
Yes, one would think. Not the president.
Then you have Susan Rice, national security adviser during the Obama administration, who calls Trump’s decision “stone cold crazy.”