WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, released the following statement on news reports that Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's chief political strategist, has been removed from the National Security Council (NSC). In February, Senator Heinrich led a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis questioning the reorganization of the NSC to include Bannon as a regular attendee of NSC Principals Committee.
“Steve Bannon, who made a career out of selling hateful and divisive propaganda aimed at women, Hispanics, African Americans, Jews, and other minorities, was outrageously placed on the National Security Council by President Trump. This unprecedented move not only showed that President Trump trusted the former leader of the far-right website Breitbart News more than our leading generals and his appointed leader of the intelligence community, but could have also compromised the national security decision making process and put American lives at risk at home and abroad.
“No matter what his role is, Mr. Bannon’s damaging influence on this administration should not be underestimated and is apparent in the actions President Trump has taken in his first days in office. Mr. Bannon has rightly been demoted and removed from the National Security Council, but he never should have been there in the first place.”