Article of the day: Trump may not have understood EO appointing Bannon to the NSC

Jack Moore at GQ reviewed a recent NYT article on Trump’s first two weeks in office, and caught this remarkable paragraph:

For the moment, Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.

As Moore noted,

There are only two options here. Donald Trump either read this executive order and did not understand what placing Steve Bannon on the National Security Council (especially at the expense of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence) would mean, which is terrifying … or Donald Trump didn’t read the executive order that he signed.

Trump’s dislike of reading has been well documented throughout the campaign.

Article of the day: #PresidentBannon is consolidating power in the White House

Bannon’s appointment to the NSC appears to be part of a broader trend towards his consolidation of power within the White House.  According to Politico, he’s played a key role in selecting cabinet appointees, drafting executive orders on immigration, and writing Trump’s inaugural speech.  It’s a remarkable ascent for a far-right media figure who’s openly espoused white supremacy, and as recently as last summer told Vanity Fair that Trump was a “blunt instrument for us” at Breitbart News.  The hashtag #PresidentBannon has popped up to suggest that Bannon is the power behind the throne.

Article of the day: Steve Bannon has been given a seat on the National Security Council

Trump advisor and white supremacist Steve Bannon has been given a seat on the National Security Council.  As Vox notes,

Bannon’s elevation would be surprising in and of itself. But what makes it truly alarming — to critics from both parties — is that it’s taking place alongside a separate provision downgrading the status of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence. Under all previous presidents, both officeholders attended all NSC meetings. In the Trump administration, they’ll only come when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed.”

This means that a political operative with zero national security or foreign policy experience will now have the same status as the heads of the Pentagon and State Department — and will in some ways outrank the nation’s top military officer and the head of the entire intelligence community.

House Democrats are already pushing back against his appointment, and he may need to be confirmed by the Senate as well.

Action of the day: sign the SPLC’s petition against Steve Bannon

Sign the Southern Poverty Law Center’s petition calling for Steve Bannon to be removed from Donald J. Trump’s transition team. As the chairman of Breitbart news, Bannon “aggressively pushed stories against immigrants, supported linking minorities to terrorism and crime,” and developed the site into a leading platform for white supremacy.