The Corner

Executive Disorder?

I’m usually not as outraged as people on either side of the aisle tend to be when a political adviser in a Republican or Democratic White House has a voice on national security. It is impossible to separate national-security decisions from politics in the highest sense (see, for instance, Lincoln during the Civil War) and if there is an adviser who has helped make you president of the United States, you might want to have his or her counsel on potentially presidency-defining questions. So I didn’t join the pearl-clutching over news Steve Bannon would sit on the National Security Council (although I can see the case that such a formal role is a bridge too far). But this from the New York Times, assuming it’s accurate (the reporters on the piece are excellent), is crazy:

Mr. Priebus bristles at the perception that he occupies a diminished perch in the West Wing pecking order compared with previous chiefs. But 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.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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