Elliott Abrams Slams Bannon: 'He's Not A Good Influence On The President'

President Trump should remove the controversial Steve Bannon from his administration, a former foreign-policy official suggested this week.

Elliott Abrams, who held diplomatic positions in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, told Politico that Bannon “is not a good influence on the president.” The ex-official called it “a terrible mistake” for Trump to appoint the former Breitbart News chief to the National Security Council. He praised the president for having recently taken Bannon off the council, and for giving Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner more authority in the White House.

Abrams, whose specialty is Middle East affairs, also weighed in on the administration’s new policy concerning Syria. Previously, Trump insisted he was not interested in bringing out “regime change” in the war-ravaged country. However, this week, two top members of his team (United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson) called for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Last Thursday, Trump ordered missile strikes on an airfield operated by the Syrian government in the city of Homs. He said the launches were in retaliation for a chemical-weapons attack two days previously that killed nearly 100 people. Assad allegedly was responsible for the attack.

Abrams urged the president to fill unoccupied positions in the State Department and develop a more thorough Syrian policy. He said the new officials need to understand how to deal with Congress and the news media. Trump “did not become a neocon overnight,” Abrams pointed out, but now must figure out what his next steps will be in the Middle East.

“I think there was always a conflict inherent in that line about not getting involved in all of these things on the one hand and 'Make America Great Again' on the other, because making America great, to me, is going to require some involvement around the world,” Abrams said. “To me, this is sort of being president, and this is realizing there is an American role here that is impossible to replace.”

Source: Politico
Photo: Politico

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