Inside Trump's Controversial National Security Council Changes

On Friday Trump outlined the structure for his national security council.

Given Bannon's limited experience in the national security realm (he served as a surface warfare officer in the Navy for seven years) and the political nature of his involvement in both media and Trump's campaign, that decision is considered by some observers to be unusual.

Bannon is best known for his time at Breitbart and the incendiary headlines that website produced, but he does have other credentials. A profile on Breitbart says he attended college at Virginia Tech, he got a master’s degree in national security studies from Georgetown University, and then went on to get an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

President George W. Bush's 2001 organizational memorandum for the NSC issued in 2001 created a similar structure for the top intelligence officer and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Likewise, President Obama also made no mention of the CIA Director in his memo.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer fired back Monday, saying that the DNI and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs are welcome to any meeting they want to attend as members of the NSC. He also announced that Trump had amended the memo “to add CIA back into the NSC.”

However, the memo was not that clear. The exact language said the two "shall attend where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed" and it was unclear they could attend any meeting they liked.

One former Obama official who spoke to ABC News also criticized the fact that Trump allows for his vice president to oversee full NSC meetings when he is not able to attend, an option Obama didn't allow. Again, that structure was identical to President George W. Bush.

"My biggest concern is there are actually, under the law, two statutory advisers to the National Security Council, and that's the director of [national] intelligence, or the DNI, and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff," Gates told ABC News' Martha Raddatz on "This Week." "They both bring a perspective and judgment and experience … that every president — whether they like it or not — finds useful."