National Security Council

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White House Aide Gone After Clash With First Lady

Melania's office called for Mira Ricardel firing

(Newser) - Deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel was removed from her post Wednesday—the day after Melania Trump's office released a highly unusual statement calling for her firing . "Mira Ricardel will continue to support the president as she departs the White House to transition to a new role within... More »

Sessions Floats Controversial Idea to Catch Leakers

Axios reports he might require all NSC staffers to take lie detector tests

(Newser) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reportedly considering a controversial idea to catch White House leakers. Axios reports that Sessions has floated a proposal to make all 100 or so staffers at the National Security Council take a lie detector test. The purpose of the polygraph would be to figure out... More »

NYT: Bannon Threatened to Quit Over NSC Removal

His star may be fading, insiders say

(Newser) - The White House is insisting that Steve Bannon's removal from the National Security Council is not a demotion, but it was a move the strategist strongly resisted, according to the New York Times' sources. The insiders say that at one point, Bannon said he would quit if he were... More »

What Bannon's NSC Exit May Mean for White House

Trump chief strategist is out of post: business as usual or a shift in power?

(Newser) - President Trump generated controversy early in his presidency when he named chief strategist Steve Bannon to a key role on National Security Council. As of this week, Bannon no longer holds the post, reports Bloomberg . Some White House officials are insisting it's not a demotion, though Bannon's critics... More »

CIA Analyst: I'm Quitting Because of Trump

He says administration is 'tuning out' intelligence

(Newser) - Veteran CIA agent Edward Price says he served under George W. Bush and Barack Obama with pride—but he "cannot in good faith" serve under President Trump. In an op-ed at the Washington Post , Price, an analyst who most recently worked as a spokesman for the National Security Council,... More »

NSC Official Fired for Anti-Trump Remarks

Sources say Craig Deare slammed Mexico policy

(Newser) - A senior Trump administration official was fired following criticism in a private speech of President Trump's policies and his inner circle of advisers. Craig Deare, whom Trump appointed a month ago to head the National Security Council's Western Hemisphere division, was on Friday escorted out of the Executive... More »

Flynn Steps Down Over Russia Controversy

He's out after 24 days as national security adviser

(Newser) - Michael Flynn has stepped down as national security adviser less than a month into the Trump administration. Flynn abruptly resigned Monday night after coming under increasing pressure over his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the US while Trump was president-elect, CNN reports. "I inadvertently briefed the Vice President-elect... More »

Media Screwup on Trump Story Is a Troubling Sign

It shows how poisoned relations are with the White House

(Newser) - One of the many executive orders rolled out by President Trump involved changes at the National Security Council. The big development, accurately reported, is that Trump adviser Steve Bannon now has a regular role with the panel. But the media botched a second part of the order, writes Jackson Diehl... More »

National Security Council Restructured to Include Bannon

While roles of the DNI, chairman of the Joint Chiefs minimized

(Newser) - Amid President Trump's flurry of actions Saturday was some restructuring at the National Security Council. White House chief strategist Steve Bannon now has a permanent seat on the principals committee of the NSC, reports the Washington Post , which notes that "the changes affirm the ascent of Bannon" in... More »

US to North Korea: Let 85-Year-Old American Go

Merrill Newman has been held for more than a month

(Newser) - The US is urging North Korea to release an 85-year-old American who's been detained for more than a month. Retired finance executive Merrill Newman, who fought in the Korean War, was taken off a plane Oct. 26 by North Korean authorities while preparing to leave after a 10-day visit.... More »

White House Staffer Fired for Snarky Twitter Account

Jofi Joseph was senior National Security Council official

(Newser) - Jofi Joseph isn't the first person to lose his job for griping about his workplace on Twitter ... but he's probably the first person to do so while working at the White House. Joseph, the director of nuclear non-proliferation for the National Security Council, was unmasked as the man... More »

Secret Panel Placed Awlaki on Kill List

No records, no laws for National Security Council subset

(Newser) - This is sure to ramp up the debate over whether the US was right to kill one of its own citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki: Reuters reports that a secretive panel places militants like him on a kill or capture list, and that there are no public records of the panel's... More »

White House Blasts Syrian Government

Defends protesters; threatens 'targeted sanctions'

(Newser) - The National Security Council has condemned the “brutal violence” launched by Syria’s government against protesters, NPR reports. The crackdown is “completely deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” said an official statement. In response, “the United States is pursuing a range of... More »

Jones Puts Foot in Mouth With Jewish Joke

National security adviser draws fire from conservatives

(Newser) - Jim Jones gave a major speech at a top Middle East think tank last week, but the information he imparted has been drowned out by the kerfluffle over the joke he opened his remarks with—in which a Jewish merchant fleeces a thirsty Taliban fighter. It's tame stuff, and the... More »

Jones Emerges as Strong Voice for Obama

National security adviser sheds early uncertainty about role

(Newser) - Jim Jones’ rocky start in the Obama administration as national security adviser now seems like a thing of the past. Where once Jones lamented publicly that he was unsure of his role, he has now settled in as a top administration voice, wielding his four-star clout in the Pentagon and... More »

Obama Replaces CIA With Special Interrogators

(Newser) - Barack Obama has ordered the creation of an elite squad that will take over terror interrogations from the CIA, senior officials tell the Washington Post. Dubbed the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, the unit will be housed with the FBI, but overseen by the White House through the National... More »

Obama to Broaden National Security Council Power

Prez will boost group's authority on wider range of issues

(Newser) - The decades-old National Security Council will undergo sweeping changes under President Obama, who is expected this week to issue a directive increasing its membership and broadening its authority, the Washington Post reports. The move is part of a strategy to modernize the agency and integrate supervision to cover a wide... More »

Obama Sneaks Power Back Into the Mix

Adviser who called Clinton 'monster' lands national security role

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s national security team seems to consist entirely of people known for speaking their minds, observes Ben Smith of Politico, and none moreso than new NSC staff member Samantha Power, best known for calling Hillary Clinton “a monster.” She was booted for the incident, but that... More »

Europe Votes to Lift Cuba Sanctions

Washington 'disappointed' by decision

(Newser) - The European Union has agreed to lift sanctions against Cuba, much to the annoyance of the White House. "We see encouraging signs in Cuba and I think that we should show the population in Cuba that we are ready to work with them," an EU official tells the... More »

CIA to Brief Congress on Syria-North Korea Nuke Pact

Washington moves close to N. Korea agreement

(Newser) - Details of a suspected secret pact between North Korea and Syria to supply Damascus with nuclear weapons technology will be revealed in closed-door CIA briefings of lawmakers, Reuters reports. The pact is apparently linked to an Israeli air raid on a suspected nuclear site in Syria last year. The briefing... More »

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