Calls for Trump to Dump Bannon Increase
Congressional Democrats — including some Ohioans — increased calls Tuesday for President-elect Donald Trump to remove one of his most powerful appointees to his cabinet: Trump campaign CEO and former Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon.
Sen. Sherrod Brown said Bannon promoted “anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic” views on the Breitbart website. Separately, more than 115 House members including Columbus area Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, signed onto a letter Tuesday calling on Trump to rescind his appointment of Bannon, who was named White House chief strategist earlier this week.
“We strongly believe that Mr. Bannon’s appointment will not allow the country to heal and come together as one,” the House Democrats wrote. “As one of your top advisers, the White House chief strategist will help set the tone for your administration. The person in this role must be prepared to serve the interests of all Americans, not those of a select few.”
Beatty, in a statement, said Bannon “has made a career of dividing and siloing people who think, look or act different than him by using provocative and baited language.”
“It is incumbent on Trump to rescind Bannon’s appointment as White House chief strategist and select an individual prepared to represent the interests of all Americans,” she said.
Bannon has called Breitbart a platform for the “alt-right,” which is a loosely defined fringe conservative group that embraces “white identity,” deportation of undocumented immigrants, and opposes diversity and feminism.
Headlines featured on the website include: “There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews,” ” Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?” and “Gay rights have made us dumber, it’s time to get back in the closet.”
Brown said Trump can’t unite the country “while empowering bigotry.”
“This is not about a difference in policy or politics — Steve Bannon has promoted anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic and dangerous views that have emboldened white nationalist forces and caused some Americans to question whether they can still feel safe in the country we all love,” Brown said.
Kaitlin Fochesato is a fellow at the E.W. Scripps Schools of Journalism Statehouse Bureau.