WASHINGTON, D.C. ― U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, led a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis requesting information on the recent reorganization of the National Security Council (NSC) to include President Trump’s chief political strategist Steve Bannon as a regular attendee of NSC Principals Committee.
Heinrich was joined by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jeffery Merkley (D-Ore.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in asking whether the Department of Defense was consulted prior to these changes and what the Defense Secretary’s views are on whether partisan political considerations should be a part of the national security decision-making process.
“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 at home and abroad. We are also concerned that President Trump reportedly may not have been briefed on this memorandum or fully understood the changes it made to the NSC,” the senators wrote.