WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) joined 168 members of the U.S. House, led by Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), in sending a letter asking President-elect Donald Trump to rescind 'alt-right' leader Stephen K. Bannon’s appointment as White House Chief Strategist. Stephen K. Bannon, President-elect Donald Trump’s chief political strategist, has been condemned by critics as a closet racist and anti-Semite. Although Republican members of the House were invited to sign Cicilline’s letter, none did so.
Stephen Kevin "Steve" Bannon, born November 27, 1953, is an American campaign manager, businessman, and media executive. Bannon was a founding member of the board of Breitbart News, a far-right news, opinion and commentary website which, according to Philip Elliott and Zeke J. Miller of Time (magazine), has "pushed racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic material into the vein of the alternative right". Bannon became chief executive officer of the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump in August 2016. Bannon has been named chief strategist and Senior Counselor for the Presidency of Donald Trump.
“Bigotry, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia should have no place in our society, and they certainly have no place in the White House. Whether intentional or not, the appointment of Mr. Bannon sends a disturbing message about what kind of president Donald Trump wants to be,” said Cicilline, a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
“I am grateful that so many of my colleagues joined me in this request today. I hope that the President-elect will consider our concerns as he prepares to enter office.”
Democrats were appalled by the choice of Bannon, linking him to the Ku Klux Klan. Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said: “It is easy to see why the KKK views Trump as their champion when Trump appoints one of the foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric as his top aide.”
Congressman Adam Schiff said Bannon’s selection was unsurprising but disturbing. “His alt-right, anti-Semitic & misogynistic views don’t belong in WH,” Schiff said on Twitter.
“Bannon is a disgusting, white ethno-nationalist propagandist and the mere idea that he’ll be whispering in the ear of someone who will call himself our commander-in-chief is a stain on the presidency.”
Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for Barack Obama, tweeted: “My stomach dropped when I saw the Bannon news, but not because I was surprised. It’s just our worst fears in the grim wide open ... With a white nationalist senior advisor, Trump is not just ignoring the impact of his rhetoric – he is actively terrifying the country.”
“Under Bannon, Breitbart published a call to ‘hoist [the Confederate flag] high and fly it with pride’ only two weeks after the Charleston massacre when the country was still reeling from the horrors of the murders.
Under Bannon, Breitbart published an extremist anti-Muslim tract where the author wrote that ‘rape culture’ is ‘integral’ to Islam. Worse perhaps, Bannon personally insinuated that African Americans are ‘naturally aggressive and violent’.
“Mr Trump, during your victory speech, you pledged to be a president for ‘all Americans’ and to ‘bind the wounds of division’ in our country. If you mean what you say, you must rescind your appointment of Bannon.”
Read Letter from Congress: http://cicilline.house.gov/sites/cicilline.house.gov/files/images/letter.pdf