Palace intrigue heightens in the White House. General McMaster, the head of the National Security Council (NSC), forced the president to remove Steve Bannon from the "principals committee" which presides over the issues that will go to the presidential level. McMaster followed the tradition set by previous chairs of the NSC who did not want a political strategist involved in making critical security decisions. McMaster also added key officials to the NSC. Some of them had been kept off of the committee by Trump. The energy secretary was one of the new members of the NSC. Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon, who is now secretary of state, is also a member of the NSC.
Steve Bannon has been very close to Trump but he has been involved in many decisions where his inexperience in government may have contributed to some of Trump's several failures since he assumed the presidency. Its not clear how Bannon's demotion will affect Trump's future decisions. Bannon contributed to Trump's election by positioning Trump as a populist and a nationalist who would place America first. Trump is probably discovering that many of Bannon's ideas do not play well with other members of his cabinet.
Although McMaster may have won a battle by removing Bannon from his key position, Trump refused to remove the 30 year old Cohen-Watnick from his position on the NSC. His position has been supported by Bannon and by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Cohen-Watnick was used by Bannon to provide security information to the head of the House intelligence committee. Trump is still keeping political control of the NSC.