The National Security Council is in disarray amid reports that national security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States, the New York Times reports.
"It's so far a very dysfunctional NSC," Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California said in a telephone interview with the Times.
There are rumors that President Donald Trump's top advisers are considering a program that could result in the monitoring of department emails and cellphone for leaks, so some staff members have taken extra measures to encrypt their communication.
The elevation of Steve Bannon, Trump’s White House chief strategist, to a position on the NSC, has also been a whirlwind.
Council staff members have no clue what Trump has spoken about with foreign leaders even though they are the ones supposed to advise him on national security and foreign policy issues and coordinate policies among the government agencies.
K.T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser, told the Times that career officials were on edge within the department, but that the changes were bound to come with a new boss.
"Not only is this a new administration, but it is a different party, and Donald Trump was elected by people who wanted the status quo thrown out,” said McFarland. "I think it would be a mistake if we didn’t have consternation about the changes — most of the cabinet haven't even been in government before."
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