February 1, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman John Garamendi, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, released a statement regarding Donald Trump’s decision to appoint his presidential campaign advisor to the National Security Council and downgrade the roles of his senior military and intelligence advisors:
"Donald Trump's memorandum reorganizing the National Security Council (NSC) flagrantly violates a fundamental tenet of national security. It makes Steve Bannon, his presidential campaign chairman and scion of the alt-right, a permanent member of the NSC and a standing member of the Principals Committee meeting, where our nation's most consequential national security decisions are made. Worryingly, it also diminishes the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President's chief intelligence and military advisors, in these critical meetings.
“Senator Arthur Vandenberg's view that 'we must stop partisan politics at the water's edge,’ has been a guiding principle of American foreign policy for 70 years. Among its many ramifications, administrations of both parties have drawn bright dividing lines between the National Security Council and the political side of the White House. They have made clear that partisan politics has no seat in the Situation Room.
"I agree with Senator McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense and Director of Central Intelligence, that this is a radical departure from long-standing practice and a serious mistake. If President Trump really wants to put "America first", he should reverse this change and make it clear to the American people that their national security comes before partisan politics."