Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said soon after, "This is a 'Holy Crap' moment.'"
The concerns grew more acute soon after when Foreign Policy reported that Steve Bannon had begun "calling the shots" at the NSC, "doing so with little to no input from the National Security Council staff." The magazine quoted an intelligence official who described the NSC's work environment as one in which there's "little appetite for dissenting opinions" and "shockingly no paper trail of what's being discussed and agreed upon at meetings."
That was just nine weeks ago. As of today, however, Bannon has been removed from the NSC.
President Donald Trump has removed Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, from the National Security Council, according to a filing in the federal registry. [...]
A senior White House official told NBC News that the changes were not the result of any "power struggle" within the administration.
Bannon was put on the Principals' Committee only as a check against then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the official said. Now that Flynn is gone, Bannon is no longer needed in that role, the official said.
If you're thinking there are parts to this story the White House hasn't yet disclosed, you're not alone. Perhaps the current NSA, H.R. McMaster, has prevailed in some kind of behind-the-scenes power struggle. Maybe Bannon's star is falling in Trump's orbit. Perhaps Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a Bannon ally and a young man who was elevated to be senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council despite a lack of qualifications, is in trouble, too, in the wake of the Devin Nunes fiasco.
While we wait for answers to be uncovered, it's also worth noting that today's announcement was part of a larger re-reorganization of the NSC, following Trump's January shake-up. As the NBC News report added, "As part of the shakeup announced Wednesday, two officials were added back to the NSC's Principal's Committee: the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford."
As for the broader context, I hope you saw Rachel's segments this week on Team Trump's politicization of the National Security Council: