UPDATE: Bannon released the following statement about his removal from the National Security Council principals committee.
"[Obama administration National Security Adviser] Susan Rice operationalized the NSC during the last administration," Bannon said in a statement. "I was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized. [National Security Adviser] General [H.R.] McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function."
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, a favorite liberal media target, has been removed from the National Security Council principals committee, Bloomberg first reported on Wednesday. The NSC shakeup has been confirmed by White House officials, according to The Washington Post's Robert Costa.
Confirmed: Steve Bannon is no longer part of the National Security Council, per two WH officials— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 5, 2017
Bannon, Costa has learned, was included in the committee to “de-operationalize” the NSC and to "keep an eye" on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
President Trump's initial decision to include Bannon in the NSC committee in January was widely criticized. Bannon's role was elevated while the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats were downgraded in a way, as they were asked to not attend every meeting.
Why, critics wondered at the time, give such access to someone with little national security experience? The White House defended Bannon's presence on the NSC committee, insisting he did have experience on national security, considering he is a former naval officer.
"He's got a tremendous understanding of the world and the geopolitical landscape," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer argued.
With Bannon out of the committee, Dunford and Coats will again participate in every NSC meeting, according to Bloomberg. National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster will now set the committee's agenda.