We know about two things Trump senior advisor Steve Bannon has done in the past few days:
- Overruled a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) interpretation of the travel/refugee ban executive order that, saying that green card holders were also subject.
2. Get a seat on the National Security Council (NSC) while removing the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
#2 is unprecedented, a power grab by an advisor with no relevant experience. It’s a clear signal that Trump would rather displaced senior leadership than learn from it.
I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I think the two are linked. The travel ban has been such a media focus that the NSC issue has mostly been noticed by watchdogs tracking post-9/11 changes to homeland security. The insistence by Bannon that the ban apply to permanent residents has made this issue so explosive. If only refugees or temporary visa holders were targeted, these protests would not be nearly as large. But the EO seemed primed for maximum chaos- it was both broad and vague.
It remains to be seen how long the rest of the executive branch will stand by while a half dozen rookie advisors take their authority away.