02.21.17

Baldwin, Senators Question Secretary of Defense on Reorganization of National Security Council

“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.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in sending 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.

“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.

Baldwin and Heinrich were also joined by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeffery Merkley (D-OR), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Edward Markey (D-MA) 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.

A copy of the letter is available here, which includes a number of questions the senators are asking Secretary Mattis to answer on the recent reorganization of the NSC.