What Trump’s Changes Mean for the National Security Council

President Trump announced on Monday that he would add the director of the Central Intelligence Agency to the National Security Council after critics questioned a memorandum released last weekend that also gave a seat to his chief political strategist.

.. The memo did not stipulate that the director of national intelligence or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would automatically attend those meetings, and raised concerns about the influence Mr. Bannon would exert over national security.

.. The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, insisted on Monday that the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, were welcome to attend any meetings of the committee on subjects relevant to their portfolios. And he noted that Mr. Trump was adding the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, to the list.

.. “The president has such respect for director Pompeo and the men and women of the C.I.A. that today, the president is announcing he will amend the memo to add C.I.A. back into the N.S.C.,” Mr. Spicer said.

.. Who did the job of national security adviser best?

In Washington, this is the kind of argument people have in bars. (Well, some people.) But on this issue, there is fairly widespread bipartisan consensus: Brent Scowcroft, who served as President George H. W. Bush’s national security adviser, “is widely viewed as one of the most effective people who has ever held that job,”

.. During the Obama administration, David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s chief political adviser, often sat in on council meetings. But he was never a formal member. Susan E. Rice, who was national security adviser until 11 days ago, called the decision to downgrade the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of national intelligence “stone cold crazy.”