President Trump has ordered a significant reduction of staff at the National Security Council, according to Bloomberg, citing “five people familiar with the plans.” The cuts were described as part of a White House initiative to streamline the agency under new National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.
Two of the people familiar with the decision to shrink the NSC insisted it was largely rooted in both the transition to O’Brien’s leadership as well as Trump’s desire to increase efficiency at the agency, which grew under former President Barack Obama. About 310 people currently work at the NSC. –Bloomberg
The cutbacks will primarily be carried out from attrition, “as staffers return from assignments at the NSC to their home agencies,” according to the report. Many of the council’s employees are career government employees who came from the State Department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies.
Members of Congress have periodically sought to reduce the size of the NSC in recent years. Some lawmakers have threatened to make the national security adviser a Senate-confirmed position if the administration didn’t reduce the number of people working at the president’s foreign policy shop. –Bloomberg
Bloomberg links the decision to a whistleblower complaint over Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. – READ MORE