A handful of House Democrats are calling on President Trump to remove his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, from the National Security Council (NSC).
“While we respect the traditional privilege of the presidency to shape the NSC to its unique needs, we strongly denounce Mr. Bannon’s inclusion in the Principals Committee and standing invitation to attend National Security Council meetings,” the five lawmakers wrote in a letter set to be delivered to Trump on Wednesday, according to Yahoo News.
“[We] demand you immediately undo the politicization of America’s national security,” they added. "It is completely dangerous and morally reprehensible.”
Wednesday’s letter was signed by Democratic Reps. Barbara Lee (Calif.), Judy Chu (Calif.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.) Mark PocanMark William PocanDemocrats livid over GOP's COVID-19 attacks on Biden With Build Back Better, Dems aim to correct messaging missteps Dems brace for score on massive Biden bill MORE (Wis.) and Cedric Richmond (La.).
Richmond chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, while Chu chairs the Asian Pacific American Caucus and Grijalva is first vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Ellison co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, meanwhile, and is also widely considered a top contender for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairmanship.
The five Democrats said in Wednesday’s letter that they object to Bannon’s “lack of government experience” and his tenure as chairman of the right-wing Breitbart News.
“Mr. Bannon has provided a platform for white nationalists and the alt-right, and he has also espoused a false theory of a violent clash of civilizations between the West and Islam that only serves to fuel violent extremism,” they wrote.
Trump signed an executive action last Saturday reorganizing the NSC to include Bannon, who is also his senior counselor.
The memorandum also removed the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the Principals Committee, saying they could attend meetings for “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise.”
Bannon’s appointment has stirred alarm among some Democrats and Republicans who worry his inclusion on the NSC may politicize White House decisions under Trump.
The former Breitbart News chairman served as CEO of Trump’s 2016 presidential bid and is widely credited with honing the billionaire’s populist message.