Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The White House on Monday clarified President Donald Trump's structuring of the National Security Council, and said the CIA has been added to the mix after some criticism.
Trump signed a reorganization memorandum over the weekend that outlines which departments and personnel are involved in the top-level meetings of national security.
The structure includes the director of national intelligence and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff on the NSC's Principals Committee -- a senior interagency forum that considers national security policy issues.
The top intelligence and military officials, however, won't be required to attend every meeting because those that involve issues outside their scope of responsibility would be a waste of time, the White House said.
"This idea that there has been a change or a downgrade is utter nonsense," Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said at a news briefing Monday.
Spicer also noted that the CIA director will sit in on the meetings, a presence that was deemed unnecessary a decade ago when the director of national intelligence post was created. The CIA director reports to the DNI.
Because of the creation of the national intelligence director four years earlier, former President Barack Obama did not involve the CIA on the council when he took office in 2009.
"I don't see the Obama administration including the CIA in theirs," Spicer said, responding to a criticism from Obama's national security advisor, Susan Rice. "The CIA hasn't been part of the NSC since the DNI was sworn in for the first time in 2005. ... "[Trump] will amend the memo to add the CIA back into the NSC."
The press secretary seemed a bit agitated during the briefing, speaking emphatically and holding up a series of documents with passages highlighted.
On Saturday, Trump also added chief strategist Steve Bannon to the National Security Council -- a move Spicer said will not dilute the roles played by the Director of National Intelligence, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA director.