Former Clinton adviser: Bannon on NSC shows 'bad judgment'

Ex-Clinton adviser: Bannon on NSC bad judgment
Ex-Clinton adviser: Bannon on NSC bad judgment

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Ex-Clinton adviser: Bannon on NSC bad judgment 00:48

Story highlights

  • Trump tapped a political adviser to join a national security team
  • A former Clinton adviser said it struck a bad note

Washington (CNN)A former adviser to Hillary Clinton cast a skeptical eye toward President Donald Trump's decision to include a political aide on the National Security Council's Principals Committee.

Jake Sullivan made his comments Thursday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer -- days after Trump moved to include Bannon at the table and amid reports of a raid in Yemen that led to the death of one Navy SEAL and numerous civilians, one of whom was the 8-year-old daughter of a US-born terrorist ordered killed by President Barack Obama.
"I think it's very strange, and probably inappropriate, to have a political adviser, someone whose job is to talk politics to the President, sitting in the Situation Room and weighing in on the most consequential national security," said Sullivan in his first interview since the election.
The former Obama administration official allowed that a president should get to decide who advises him, but that going to Bannon for national security advice constituted "bad judgment."
"It reflects a wrong priority to place weight on what a political adviser says rather than on your military and intelligence professionals," Sullivan said. "These are consequential matters of life and death, and politics shouldn't have any part in it."
Trump brought Bannon on to lead his campaign over the summer after dismissing his two previous campaign heads. Since winning, Trump tapped Bannon -- the former head of Brietbart News -- to be White House chief strategist, a position on equal footing with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
The move drew widespread outrage from Trump's opponents because of Bannon's many past controversial statements.
Bannon's inclusion in the President's chief national security team drew further outrage. Earlier on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi referred to Bannon as a "white supremacist."