CNN analyst: Experts 'alarmed' by 'stone-cold crazy' decision to put Steve Bannon on security council
Jim Sciutto (CNN)

Steve Bannon's placement on the National Security Council is highly unusual, according to CNN's chief national security correspondent.

Bannon, who serves as President Donald Trump's chief strategist, was elevated to the inter-agency group that coordinates national security decisions, while the director of National Intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were downgraded.

"Those are both Senate-confirmed positions, the White House strategist -- that's the title of Bannon -- not Senate-confirmed," said CNN's Jim Sciutto, who served as a foreign policy advisor to former President Barack Obama. "You had additional voices piping in on who these seats at the table would be, you have a good sense of (their) views and the experience."

Sciutto reported that previous officials who served in those positions were shocked that Bannon, a political appointee, had been promoted at the expense of experienced professionals.

Susan Rice, who served as Obama's national security advisor, described the reshuffling as "stone-cold crazy."

Rice warned that Gen. Joseph Dunford, the nation's highest-ranking military officer, and Mike Dempsey, the acting director of national intelligence were sidelined as "after thoughts" and the CIA had been "cut out of everything."

Robert Gates -- who served as defense secretary for both Obama and former President George W. Bush and also served as CIA director and director of national intelligence -- expressed concern that Trump had removed the only two officials who were required by law to advise the president on the National Security Council.

"Keep in mind, those are people who have sat in on those meetings in very trying times for this country alarmed by those changes," Sciutto said.