Trump Boots Bannon from National Security Council
Steve Bannon, a former executive with the far-right website Breitbart.com who became a senior adviser in the Trump Administration, has been removed from his role on the National Security Council. In a shakeup of officials on President Trump’s security team, he is removing Bannon and bringing back other key officials to the NSC Principals Committee, a group of highly ranked individuals who analyze and discuss important national security issues with the president. News of the changes were published in the Federal Register on Wednesday. However, Bannon will remain close to Trump as his chief strategist and maintain his security clearances.
Man Charged in Chicago Quadruple Homicide
Chicago police have charged Maurice Harris, 19, with the fatal shootings of four men at a restaurant in its South Shore neighborhood, which was one of several violent incidents within a 24-hour period that killed a total of seven. Harris faces four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting, which authorities say was a gang-related retaliation. He was taken into custody on Tuesday. Two of his alleged victims were shot at the restaurant, while another died outside and a fourth a block away. Earlier that day in unrelated incidents, a pregnant woman was found shot to death in her home and that night, two people sitting in a vehicle were also shot and killed.
Trump Says Susan Rice May Have Committed Crime
A day after former Obama Administration National Security Adviser denied allegations that she tried to “unmask” individuals referred to in communications from the global intelligence community, President Trump says requesting the names of the individuals may have constituted a criminal act. Rice said in an interview with NBC News that her role as National Security Adviser gave her the ability to request the names of those individuals if she believed it necessary within the context of her job. Trump was asked by The New York Times if he believes she committed a crime and said: “Do I think? Yes, I think.” He provided no evidence to back his claim. “I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” he said. “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”
Embattled South African President Gets Support of African National Congress
Jacob Zuma, the South African president who has been facing multiple calls for his resignation after his firing of the nation’s finance minister, got the backing of the ruling African National Congress. Zuma has been accused of corruption by activists and political groups and was forced to pay back some state money after the Constitutional Court ruled against him in a dispute over millions of dollars spent on his private home. The firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan collapsed much of the nation’s confidence in him and led to Standard & Poor’s lowering South Africa’s credit rating. The ANC had looked at complaints that Zuma had not consulted their leadership in his recent cabinet reshuffling. But after reviewing the complaints, the group decided not to encourage Zuma’s resignation, according to the BBC.