Carper Statement on Membership Changes on the National Security Council

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to add White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to the National Security Council while also limiting the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in National Security Council affairs.

“Last Saturday, President Trump signed an executive memorandum outlining the structure and membership of his National Security Council. The role of National Security Council is to provide advice to the President on important national security issues, and every president has the duty to surround himself with the most qualified advisors whose only consideration when making recommendations to the president is the safety of our nation.

“That’s why I’m deeply dismayed by President Trump’s unprecedented decision to include a political strategist, White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, on the National Security Council. The decades-old tradition of keeping decisions on national security separate from politics at home is sacred, and this radical move to introduce politics, bias and fringe views into the decision-making process for our national security is alarming.

“I am equally dismayed that while President Trump has injected politics into the National Security Council, he has also decided to limit the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by not naming them as standing members of the primary committee that formulates national security recommendations for the council. It is difficult to imagine why President Trump would not want his chief intelligence and military advisors involved in all discussions on how we as a nation should tackle our most pressing national security concerns.

“The president owes to us, and our brave men and women in the Armed Forces who are sent to protect us from threats around the globe, a National Security Council that provides the best military, intelligence and national security advice untainted by politics. Anything less makes our nation less safe.”