Trump-backing ex-SEAL tries to defend Bannon's security role -- but CNN's Ana Navarro shuts him down
Carl Higbie and Ana Navarro (CNN)

A Donald Trump-backing Navy SEAL veteran tried to claim Steve Bannon belonged on the National Security Council, but other CNN panelists shut him down.


Carl Higbie, a military veteran and conservative commentator, disputed reports that Trump signed an executive order elevating his chief strategist to the council without being fully briefed on the details.

"I spoke to someone this morning who is very close to Steve Bannon within the administration, and he said this is not something Donald Trump haphazardly did on a whim," Higbie said. "He knew what was happening. What he's shocked about is that there's so much outrage."

He said Bannon had gained security clearance to serve on U.S. Navy submarine and had "been successful at everything he's done," and he argued this qualified the former Breitbart News chief for the interagency council that oversees national security.

"Why is it such a bad thing to put him on the National Security (Council)?" Higbie said.

CNN contributor Ana Navarro, a former Republican strategist, fielded Higbie's question.

"Because he is a political operative," Navarro said. "He looks at everything from a political lens. It is his job to get Donald Trump re-elected and to keep Donald Trump popular."

Higbie asked Navarro to clarify whether anyone from politics could serve on the council.

"That's why they're usually not," she said.

Higbie pointed out that Mike Flynn, the national security advisor, had been considered by Trump as potential vice-presidential running mate -- and that's when CNN's Kate Bolduan stepped in.

"Being considered for vice president is something very different than actually getting the post," Bolduan said. "Let me move on."