The New York Times using what looks like a ton of sources paint a dysfunctional picture of the organization the in normal times would be the President’s ‘go to’ people to deal with National Security policy….
The piece describes how staff members of the group have to check their twitter feeds for policy from the President….How they have considered using unsecured open twitter to get access to Trump, who so far is running the American government like he ran his business, which means that cabinet heads are finding that they are on their own, unless Trump’s guys Bannon or Miller see something they have done in the media and call them out for it….
Changes with a new President are common….
But right now some staff members are moving back to their home agencies of Defense, State, CIA and others because they find working at the NSC is like working in the dark….(The Intelligence agencies seem to NOT trust the President and his guys…It appears the feeling are mutual)
The head of the agency, Michael Flynn, a retired Army General, is in the media portrayed as in trouble because of his contacts with the Russian’s and implied policy BEFORE Trump was sworn in as President …Flynn led Vice President to believe he did not talk policy in his calls to the Russian’s , but NSA listening has shown he did making Pence’s defense of Flynn to the media false…
Oh, of course there is the fact the Steve Bannon, who has NO experience in national security, but is a political hand , now sits in on the meetings rubs people the wrong way….
All in all?….
A picture of an agency going in several places, while going nowhere right now…
Pointing to an American government ran by three guys in a room…..
Trump, Bannon and Miller….
Stephen Miller, the White House senior policy adviser, was circumspect on Sunday about Mr. Flynn’s future. Mr. Miller said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that possibly misleading the vice president on communications with Russia was “a sensitive matter.” Asked if Mr. Trump still had confidence in Mr. Flynn, Mr. Miller responded, “That’s a question for the president.”
This account of life inside the council — offices made up of several hundred career civil servants who advise the president on counterterrorism, foreign policy, nuclear deterrence and other issues of war and peace — is based on conversations with more than two dozen current and former council staff members and others throughout the government. All spoke on the condition that they not be quoted by name for fear of reprisals.
“It’s so far a very dysfunctional N.S.C.,” Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a telephone interview.
In a telephone conversation on Sunday afternoon, K. T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser, said that early meetings of the council were brisker, tighter and more decisive than in the past, but she acknowledged that career officials were on edge. “Not only is this a new administration, but it is a different party, and Donald Trump was elected by people who wanted the status quo thrown out,” said Ms. McFarland, a veteran of the Reagan administration who most recently worked for Fox News. “I think it would be a mistake if we didn’t have consternation about the changes — most of the cabinet haven’t even been in government before.”
There is always a shakedown period for any new National Security Council, whose staff is drawn from the State Department, the Pentagon and other agencies and is largely housed opposite the White House in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
But what is happening under the Trump White House is different, officials say, and not just because of Mr. Trump’s Twitter foreign policy. (Two officials said that at one recent meeting, there was talk of feeding suggested Twitter posts to the president so the council’s staff would have greater influence.)
image of Bannon talking to Flynn, DHS Kelly and others….Stephen Crowley NY Times…