Trump yesterday added Steve Bannon, his chief strategist, to the National Security Council's Principals' Committee, on par with the SecState and SecDef. Neither Karl Rove nor David Plouffe nor David Axelrod were on the Principals' Committee.

Bannon is defined as a regular attendee, an elevation over the Director of National Intelligence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who "shall attend where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed." Signing the NSC organizational order in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters the structure "represents … a lot of efficiency and I think a lot of additional safety. People have been talking about doing this for a long time — like many years."

Compare that to how George W. Bush handled his close advisor, Karl Rove:

Former GWB chief of staff Josh Bolten explains why the president did not allow Karl Rove to attend NSC mtgs, ever https://t.co/H6abw7buGP pic.twitter.com/Uad0vh3AIt— Rebecca Berg (@rebeccagberg) January 29, 2017

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 33,867,247 — Total deaths: 1,012,341 — Total recoveries: 23,537,059Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,229,319 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  5. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  6. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.