US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump has included Steve Bannon on the National Security Council giving him a regular spot at the meetings [File photo]REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

US President Donald Trump signed three executive orders on Saturday (28 January) including one to reshuffle the National Security Council (NSC) to give his chief strategist Stephen K Bannon a regular seat at some of the most sensitive meetings at the highest levels of US government.

Besides, two of the senior most defence chiefs, the director of national intelligence and the chairman of joint chiefs of staff will attend meetings only when the discussions pertain to their "responsibilities and expertise". In the Bush and Obama administrations, both were included in the meetings regularly, according to reports.

Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus would also attend the meetings.

Bannon, who was the chairman of Trump's campaign, is a former editor of the right wing website Breitbart and worked at Goldman Sachs previously.

The NSC is primarily responsible for co-ordinating activity in other departments that are represented on the council and is an advisory group to the president on foreign affairs.

"The overall view was that some of the agencies would send people not at the appropriate level and/or people who are neither empowered to make decisions nor represent their departments; that there was too much discussion with too few decisions," the Wall Street Journal quoted a White House official as saying.

The second executive order that was signed on Saturday bars Trump administration officials from lobbying their former agencies for five years after leaving government service and imposes a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments.

The third order targets the Islamic State (Isis) group and directs the administration to come up with a plan to defeat the extremist group. It also wants General James Mattis to submit a proposal in a month with help from other agencies.

Since assuming office on 20 January, Trump has signed 15 executive orders in a bid to fulfil different promises he made during the campaign.

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