Conservative journalist Bill Kristol said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's removal of chief strategist Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council was a victory for National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
"This is a story about H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who now clearly has control of the National Security Council, who is bringing in pretty mainstream Republicans and some bipartisan senior directors into that body," Kristol, editor-at-large for The Weekly Standard, told Jake Tapper on CNN.
"He's taking charge gradually, very quietly, of foreign policy to the degree he can."
Trump reshuffled the NSC, removing Bannon, and downgrading Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, according to news reports.
The change reversed a controversial early decision by Trump that gave Bannon access to high-level council meetings at the White House.
McMaster, 54, an Army lieutenant general, was named to head the council in February after Michael Flynn resigned amid concerns about his forthrightness about his dealing with Russia during the transition.
"If the Trump administration ends non-disastrously, I believe historians will look back saying that the day that H.R. McMaster replaced Mike Flynn was a huge moment," Kristol told Tapper.
"He went from having a national security adviser who is problematic in all kinds of ways to a really experienced and savvy professional who is used to assuming responsibility as a general in the Army and who has really stepped up on this case."
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