Putting aside for a moment Mr. Bannon’s troubling public positions, which are worrisome enough, institutionalizing his attendance threatens to politicize national security decision making.
Having Mr. Bannon as a voting member of the principals committee will have a negative influence on what is supposed to be candid, nonpartisan deliberation. I fear that it will have a chilling effect on deliberations and, potentially, diminish the authority and the prerogatives to which Senate-confirmed cabinet officials are entitled. They, unlike Mr. Bannon, are accountable for the advice they give and the policies they execute.
Every president has the right and the responsibility to shape the security council as he sees fit. But partisan politics has no place at that table. And neither does Mr. Bannon.