U.S. Rep. Adam Smith says he’s deeply disturbed by comments made by President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon.
Bannon was elevated by Trump to the National Security Council last weekend. Trump also removed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence.
The loss of those two voices doesn't sit well Smith, a Washington Democrat and the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.
“Those are two people who have extreme expertise on the threats that this country faces, a great deal of experience dealing with those threats," Smith said. "And also have a little independence from the inner circle of the White House, and getting those perspectives is critical.”
Smith said having Bannon’s extremist, anti-Muslim views on the council is dangerous and makes no sense. “Nobody is more threatened by violent extremists within the Islamic community than Muslims,” Smith said.
Smith said much remains to be seen about how where Defense Secretary James Mattis of Richland, Washington, and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly fit in.
“They do not agree with the views of Steve Bannon, so it’s going to be interesting to see how those two former generals interact with Steve Bannon,” Smith said.
On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida) introduced legislation that, if passed, would remove Bannon from the National Security Council. Murphy’s bill asserts that no person whose “primary or predominant responsibility is political in nature” could be designated as a member of the council or be allowed to attend its meetings regularly.