The Corner

National Security & Defense

Bannon Fodder

So Steve Bannon is out at the National Security Council.

I’m sure there will be plenty to say around here about it. Breitbart, naturally, is hailing this as a Mission Accomplished moment for Bannon.

The headline: “Steve Bannon Leaves National Security Council After Susan Rice Takedown.”

The subhead: “President Donald Trump’s Senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon has exited his role on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council, claiming that his mission is complete.”

The argument seems to be that Susan Rice turned the NSC into something it’s not supposed to be (which seems right) and Bannon “de-operationalized” the NSC. Bannon’s own statement takes less credit for whatever deoperationalization is supposed to mean. “I was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized,” Bannon said. “General McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function.”

Bloomberg which broke the news, reports:

A White House official portrayed the change as a natural progression rather than a demotion for Bannon. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, contended that Bannon was placed on the committee in part to monitor Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and never attended a meeting. He’s no longer needed with McMaster in charge of the council, the official said.

Well, wait a second. I thought the current story was that Flynn was a great pick who had been unfairly hounded out of the position by illegal leaks and unmasking? Now the spin seems to be that they knew there was something sketchy about Flynn all along and so they tasked Steve Bannon (!) to keep him on the straight and narrow. That’s interesting.

I wonder what Flynn, who is seeking immunity for the story he has to tell, thinks about that.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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