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Oregon Senators Request More Info on Bannon and National Security Council

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Al Franken and six other U.S. senators, sent Secretary of Defense James Mattis a letter requesting information about Steve Bannon’s position within the newly reorganized National Security Council.

The letter also requests more information about the reorganization and asks Mattis if the DOD “was consulted prior to” the changes.

Bannon is one of the founders of Breitbart news, which has promoted racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic propaganda — but he has denied being a white nationalist saying "I'm an economic nationalist. I am an America first guy," according to a Wall Street Journal interview.

President Trump called for the reorganization of the Homeland Security Council and the National Security Council in a presidential memorandum that, in the words of the senators' letter, “downgraded the roll of the Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on the NSC Principals Committee while placing Mr. Bannon as a regular attendee of these meetings.”

The senators write: “We are concerned that the unprecedented elevation of a political operative to the senior leadership of the NSC may compromise the national security decision making process and put American lives at risk.”

The letter also states Bannon claims to be a “‘Leninist’ who wants to ‘destroy the state’ and ‘bring everything crashing down.’”

The senators are requesting a response from Secretary Mattis by March 1. The full letter is below.

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Policy_Mattis Bannon NSC Concerns 20170215.pdf488 KB