CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday blasted Donald Trump’s decision to reorganize the National Security Council and give top White House aide Steve Bannon a seat on the principles committee of the NSC, noting the move is “unsettling” to many political experts.
“An American president has a tremendous amount of power,” Tapper said on his eponymous show “The Lead.”
“A president needs information, he needs intelligence, he needs the expertise of seasoned professionals,” Tapper added, insisting Trump’s first week “does not provide much evidence” that such staples of successful administrations are “valued” by the new president.
Referencing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s claim that any reports about a shakeup at the NSC are “utter nonsense,” the CNN host slammed the administration for pushing back against the press’s accurate reporting.
“To be charitable, those are ‘alternative facts’ from our friends at the White House,” Tapper said of Spicer’s claim.
“The president in his new memo gave Stephen Bannon—the former publisher at Breitbart—a seat on the principles committee of the National Security Counsel,” he continued. “To be clear, this has never been done before.”
Noting neither former presidents George W. Bush nor Barack Obama offered aides a spot at NSC meetings, Tapper explained, “giving a purely political staffer a principles committee seat on the National Security Counsel, that’s brand new.”
“And it is unsettling to a great many experts,” Tapper said. “Why the president would think that the former publisher of Breitbart is a more important voice on national security matters than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the director of National Intelligence, that’s a mystery.”
One explanation, Tapper posited, is that “this is a White House that seems not to value, sufficiently, information and expertise from outside, expert voices.”
Watch the video below, via CNN: