White House chief strategist Steve Bannon attended a National Security Council meeting shortly after news reports surfaced that he had been removed from the council by President Donald Trump, CNBC reported Thursday.
"He is off the memo as a member of the principals committee, but the president or [National Security Adviser H.R.] McMaster can invite him to attend at any time," a White House official told the cable network.
"He is one of the president's closest and most trusted advisers."
The White House confirmed initial reports that Bannon had been removed from the NSC in a shake-up engineered by McMaster.
The administration said that Bannon had initially been placed on the council as a check for Michael Flynn, whom Trump had fired in February amid questions about his disclosures about his meetings with Russian officials.
"It was a new administration and it was a big philosophical thing we wanted to do" with Bannon on the council, the official told CNBC. "But now, we've got McMaster in here, and he philosophically is going to do that."
Asked whether Bannon would continue to regularly attend NSC meetings, the source told CNBC: "I don't know. It's going to be ad hoc, I think."
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