On the podcast Pod Save America, an Obama aide claimed that the appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council was a mistake. They said Trump was upset because he found out Bannon was on the council, insinuating (rather explicitly) that the president was signing stuff and not really paying attention. I have found no evidence of this anywhere, is this just a rumor?

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    Do we have a link and transcript of the claim? Was the aide named or on the show, or just anonymously cited?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 1:04
  • Surely if he didn't want Bannon in the job he would just fire him?
    – RedSonja
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 14:11
  • @RedSonja I'm sure it's not as simple as that. If this is true, and its totally unverified so I would take it with only the largest grain of salt, then firing Brannon would only be an admission of incompetence.
    – Anon
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 20:02

1 Answer 1


Various news organizations are reporting about Trump not being fully briefed about the order, among them Fox News, The Independend, or the New York Mag.

The original source for the claim seems to be the New York Times:

[F]or the moment, Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.

The report seems to be based on insider information, and obviously doesn't name those sources.

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    When I first read this story, I noted the gap between 'not fully briefed' and 'unaware he was appointing Bannon' or even 'didn't read what he was signing'. There were several articles in the days following about how unusual the arrangement was, and I wonder if those articles are what surprised/annoyed Trump, even if he was completely aware of the contents of the document (if this story is true).
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 1:07
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    I'm not sure a bunch of articles in the media, ALL of which seem to repring claims from ONE article in ONE media that's known to be extremely hostile to Trump, with absolutely zero corroborating evidence or proof that "insider" information is actually legit, would be a good evidentiary support for the claim.
    – user5341
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 1:38
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    This answer should mention that Trump has specifically denied this claim.
    – Avery
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 3:51
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    @Avery I don't think that that is relevant, but if you have a source I will consider including it.
    – tim
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 9:03
  • @tim : Given that the evidence for Trump having done this is basically "one anonymous source said he did", why is his statement irrelevant?
    – Christian
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 9:41

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