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There's one viable path to getting Stephen Bannon off the National Security Council. It isn't calling your senator.

President Trump's decision to put his chief political strategist, former Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon, on the National Security Council's principals committee (while demoting the director of national intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) disturbed a lot of people, because the top-tier NSC committee is meant to be an apolitical decision center and because of Bannon's own controversial views on war, race, and religion, plus his lack of national security experience.

On Facebook and in email chains, people who think Bannon's seat on the NSC is a grave mistake are being urged to call Senate Homeland Security Committee members, asking them not to approve Bannon's promotion. "The Senate Committee on Homeland Security is taking calls about Steve Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council (NSC)," the email says, and "we're told that they're tallying calls." This may not be "fake news" — maybe the Homeland Security Committee is tallying calls, and it never hurts to call your senator or sign a petition to express your views — but Bannon almost certainly doesn't need Senate confirmation to sit on the NSC principals committee.

Congress has the power to change that, and a group of Democratic senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee has introduced a bill that would effectively remove Bannon from the NSC. So Bannon critics could call the GOP senators on that committee to urge a vote on the Strengthening Oversight of National Security Act, but even if the GOP-controlled Senate and House passed such a law, they would need a two-thirds supermajority to overcome Trump's likely veto.

The only realistic path to getting Bannon off the NSC in the near term is for new national security adviser H.R. McMaster to push hard for his removal. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said McMaster will have "full authority to structure the national security team as he wants," and if he wanted to excise Bannon from the principals committee, "with something like that, he would come to the president and make that recommendation," and "the president would take that under serious consideration." If it's true that Trump wasn't fully aware he was putting Bannon on the NSC, maybe he'd even say yes.