President Trump is shuffling around members of the National Security Council (NSC) and it's bringing the group into the spotlight.
Trump removed his key advisor, Steve Bannon, from the council's principal's committee Tuesday raising a lot of eyebrows. Lt Gen H.R. McMaster has served as the President's national security advisor since February and pushed Trump to reorganize the principal's committee.
Trump's decision in January to include Bannon in the NSC was controversial since he has little national security experience.
Bannon was given the post as a check on former national security adviser Michael Flynn. But Flynn was fired in February after misleading Vice President Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador after attending only one meeting. With McMaster taking his position, the president doesn't see any more need for Bannon to stay, according to a White House official.
But what exactly is the National Security Council (NSC) and what do they do?
The NSC serves to advise the president on domestic, foreign and military policies relating to national security. The group helps makes decisions about war, peace, terrorism and is responsible for coordinating security-related activities.
There are three levels on the NSC:
1. The principal's committee is a cabinet-level senior group made up of the President's top national security officials. McMaster leads as chair of the group and will determine the agenda of meetings and that the right people are present. A new White House memorandum lists the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Chief of Staff to the President as just some of the members on the principal's committee.
Bannon is not listed on the new memo.
2. Under the principal's committee is the deputies committee, a sub-cabinet group. Their main task is to make sure any issues brought before the principal committee and the NSC has been properly analyzed and prepared for decision. The deputies committee is also responsible for monitoring policies and are in charge of establishing the policy coordination committee.
3. The policy coordination committee manages the development and implementation of national security policies. They provide policy analysis for the senior committees and make sure presidential decisions are responded to in a timely manner.
When was the NSC created?
The NSC was created in 1947 as part of President Truman's National Security Act. The group started off small, with the President serving as the chairman and wasn't placed into the executive office until a few years later. It's since grown and it's importance has varied depending on the President. Each administration has the power to structure and appoint staff.
As of Wednesday evening the NSC White House's website is telling visitors to "check back soon for more information"