While Bannon was stealing the spotlight, it turns out that Trump didn’t know the action was being taken. A report from the New York Times revealed that Trump complained that no one told him what his executive order entailed and had no idea it would grant such significant power to Bannon. Only later did Trump learn about the significance. The order was unprecedented to add a non-military, political advisor to a board of military experts that advise the president on the nation’s security.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus expressed concern about the lack of checks on both Bannon and senior advisor Stephen Miller. He even drafted a 10-part checklist of steps and approvals for executive orders to be reviewed before they’re signed. This order didn’t go through that list.
The New York Times also printed an op-ed from Admiral Mike Mullen, who served on the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
“Bannon doesn’t belong there,” Mullen said of the promotion. “In my experience, there are very few — if any — meetings of the principals committee at which the input of the military and the intelligence community is not vital.”
He went on to say that the elevation is “troubling” and “worrisome enough,” but worse is “institutionalizing [Bannon’s) attendance” which he believes “threatens to politicize national security decision making.”