Immediate, voracious opposition flared up in response to the order, which puts a political operative on the National Security Council while shuttling military and defensive experts to the sidelines.
Trump actually downgraded military chiefs of staff to give Bannon a National Security Council — in fact, all Bannon can boast of in terms of national security experience is a graduate degree and seven years in the Navy in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He also runs a racist fake news website called Breitbart.
But now, he is one of the top-level men in the Trump administration; involved in matter of national security.
His appointment is unnerving, not least of all because it's proof Trump refuses to exercise even a minimum amount of attention on the executive orders he signs and mugs for the camera.
Then there's the fact that Bannon holds a considerable amount of influence over the president — so much so that he is widely believed to be the brains behind Trump’s presidency.
Today's China Daily has Steve Bannon in a red Nazi armband, leading the Titanic into the abyss pic.twitter.com/zNb2Yi8uzv— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsin) February 6, 2017
And that’s dangerous because he is a notorious champion of white nationalists and supremacists and is an anti-Semite.
But it may be too late for any action. As for his appointment, Trump says he wasn't really "informed" about the details before he made the decision.
“By then, the president, for whom chains of command and policy minutiae rarely meant much, was demanding that Mr. Priebus begin to put in effect a much more conventional White House protocol that had been taken for granted in previous administrations: From now on, Mr. Trump would be looped in on the drafting of executive orders much earlier in the process,” write The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman.
An example of the potential threat Bannon poses to American democracy, and perhaps Trump’s presidency as well, is the immigration ban.
According to CNN’s Evan Perez and Pamela Brown, it was actually Bannon who masterminded the order.
In fact, when the Department of Homeland Security concluded that Trump’s immigration order did not apply to green card holders from the seven blacklisted countries, Bannon, along with White House adviser for policy Stephen Miller, “personally” overruled that decision, saying entry to green card holders would only be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
President Trump may be getting an idea that the "fast and furious" approach that he has taken in the first two weeks of his presidency may not be the smartest thing to do. That is perhaps why he has demanded White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to "put in effect a much more conventional White House protocol that had been taken for granted in previous administrations: From now on, Mr. Trump would be looped in on the drafting of executive orders much earlier in the process."
With that protocol, as well as a new set of checks on the so far unregulated power enjoyed by Bannon and the White House policy director, Stephen Miller, Trump seems to be planning to get more control of the orders that leave his desk.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters