National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien has further reduced the size of the National Security Council staff, slashing it down to about half the size it was during the Obama Administration, according to the New York Post.
The NSC peaked at nearly 240 employees during Obama’s tenure, which was over twice the peak of the NSC under the Bush Administration, at 115. Under O’Brien’s leadership, the body will consist of only about 105 employees. It is the latest of O’Brien’s efforts to reduce the size and power of the NSC after he replaced John Bolton in September of last year.
In a statement to the Post, O’Brien pointed out that “Under previous administrations, the NSC more than doubled in size and duplicated many of the functions of DoD, State, and the intelligence community. Under President Trump, we have brought the NSC back to its proper size and role as a coordinating body.”
As the Post reports, the elimination of certain staff “is not performance-based, and will be carried out by returning staffers on assignment from the State and Defense departments.” O’Brien is reportedly following orders from President Trump himself to reduce the size and scale of the NSC, as part of President Trump’s broader efforts to weaken the “Deep State” of various federal agencies and the intelligence community.