President Breitbart

More on Bannon’s elevation:

President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum Saturday that removed the nation’s top military and intelligence advisers as regular attendees of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee, the interagency forum that deals with policy issues affecting national security.

The executive measure established Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon as a regular attendee, whereas the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence will be allowed to participate only “where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

The two core experts are demoted while the loony neofascist amateur takes their place.

John McCain says it’s unprecedented. Not everything unprecedented is bad, but this? This is bad.

John Bellinger, an adjunct senior fellow in International and National Security Law at the Council on Foreign Relations and former legal adviser to the National Security Council, wrote on Saturday that the change is “unusual.”

“In the Bush administration, Karl Rove would not attend NSC meetings,” Bellinger said. “According to former Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, President Bush did not want to appear, especially to the military, to insert domestic politics into national security decision-making.”

And that’s Bush – hardly a standout in the field.

Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates told ABC on Sunday morning that sidelining the DNI and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was “a big mistake.”

“Adding people to the NSC never really bothers me,” Gates said, referring to Bannon’s new role on the committee. “My biggest concern is that, under law, there are only two statutory advisers to the National Security Council — the DNI, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

“Pushing them out,” Gates said, is “a big mistake. They both bring perspective, judgment, and experience to bear that every president — whether they like it or not — finds useful.”

But on the other hand Bannon brings


No, cancel that.

The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin reported before Trump was sworn in that Bannon, Jared Kushner, and Reince Priebus comprised an informal “shadow national security council” that “sits atop the Trump transition team’s executive committee and has the final say on national-security personnel appointments.”

Jared Kushner is Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Priebus is Trump’s chief of staff.

“Bannon has been working on the long-term strategic vision that will shape the Trump administration’s overall foreign policy approach,” Rogin reported, citing transition officials. He “is committed to working on the buildup of the military and is also interested in connecting the Trump apparatus to leaders of populist movements around the world, especially in Europe.”

Oh dear god.

A new Axis is forming. I don’t see how that could go wrong at all, do you?

Breitbart’s role inside the Trump White House is growing: Sebastian Gorka, an editor for National Security Affairs at Breitbart who was paid by Trump’s campaign for policy consulting, is expected to join the National Security Council. Julia Hahn, a hardline immigration writer for Breitbart, will join the administration as a special assistant to the president.

The Breitbart administration.

On Saturday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox that he helped draft Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order after Trump called him and asked how to do a “Muslim ban” “legally.” Officials told CNN that the order was a unilateral move.

Department of Homeland Security staff, the officials said, were only allowed to see the order barring refugees from the US after Trump signed it, and National Security Council lawyers were prevented from evaluating it. The State Department and the DoD were also excluded from the process, NBC reported.

After seeing the order, the DHS interpreted it to mean that green card holders from the banned countries — who have already been subjected to intense vetting — would be allowed to reenter the US from trips abroad. But that interpretation was overruled by the White House, which later said that green card holders would be allowed in only on a “case-by-case” basis.

Steve Bannon has to check them out first.

“The policy team at the White House developed the executive order on refugees and visas,” CNN reported, “and largely avoided the traditional interagency process that would have allowed the Justice Department and homeland security agencies to provide operational guidance.”

As a result, the order was imprecise and open to interpretation — and legal challenges.

The order “looks like what an intern came up with over a lunch hour,” an immigration lawyer told Benjamin Wittes, the editor-in-chief of Lawfare and a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. “My take is that it is so poorly written that it’s hard to tell the impact.”

They’re doing their best to create a dictatorship. It looks as if they’re going to get away with it.

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