Trump to Add CIA Director to National Security Council Amid Backlash

Rep. Mike Pompeo / AP

President Donald Trump will adjust a recent executive action to include CIA Director Mike Pompeo as a permanent member of the National Security Council after facing backlash for excluding the intelligence community from the meetings.

"The president has such respect for Director Pompeo and the men and women of the CIA that today the president is announcing that he will amend the memo to add the CIA back into the NSC," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday.

Trump on Saturday issued an executive memorandum changing the structure of the NSC to include his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as a permanent member while removing the director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the group's list of regular attendees.

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DNI Dan Coats and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, will now only attend the council's top-level meetings upon invitation.

Spicer noted that the CIA had not been part of the NSC since 2005, when the DNI was established to oversee the nation's 17 intelligence agencies.

Susan Rice, the national security adviser under the Obama administration, questioned in a Twitter post Sunday the exclusion of the CIA and the change of status for Coats and Dunford.

The NSC is tasked with advising the president on national security issues and coordinates strategy with agencies that are represented on the council.