Nadler, Clarke, Jeffries sign anti-Bannon letter
House Democrats urge Trump to dump controversial advisor
Three Brooklyn lawmakers were among 169 House Democrats who signed a letter sent to Republican President-elect Donald Trump demanding that he rescind the appointment of Stephen Bannon, the head of Breitbart News, as a top White House chief strategist.
Congress members Jerrold Nadler, Yvette Clarke and Hakeem Jeffries all signed the letter. All of the signatories were Democrats. No Republicans signed the letter.
Nadler (D-Manhattan-Bay Ridge- Bensonhurst) said he was “appalled and disgusted” at the appointment of the controversial media titan.
“Instead of calling on the nation to end the violence, racism and bigotry that is sweeping communities across the country, he has selected a known anti-Semitic, white nationalist, racist — Steve Bannon — to serve at the highest level of the executive branch. Bannon has bragged about Breitbart News serving as the platform for the alt-right, a loose alliance of anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, white nationalist provocateurs. We must not allow him to use the power of the White House as his new platform for spewing hate, racism and white nationalism. I call on Trump to immediately retract his offer to Bannon and to pledge that no one who shares those anti-Semitic, racist values has any place in his administration,” Nadler said in a statement.
Bannon’s appointment does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
Bannon served as CEO of Breitbart News until August, when he officially took a leave of absence to become CEO of Trump’s presidential campaign.
In their letter, the House Democrats implored Trump to reconsider his decision.
“Since the election there have been a number of incidents across the country in which minorities, including Muslim Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Jewish Americans have been the targets of violence, harassment and intimidation. Mr. Bannon’s appointment sends the wrong message to people who have engaged in those types of activities, indicating that they will not only be tolerated, but endorsed by your Administration,” the letter reads.
Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn) expressed deep concerns over the Bannon appointment.
“Mr. Bannon’s longtime association with white nationalist, xenophobic and anti-women politics has raised serious concerns that he will use his position in the federal government to undermine the best traditions of our nation and attempt to relegate women, African Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community to second-class citizenship,” she stated.
But Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, defended Bannon to reporters.
“I promise you he’s not as scary, and he is as brilliant a tactician and our campaign general, frankly, on the field as everyone is also saying,” Time magazine quoted Conway as saying. “I know him well. I worked hand-in-glove with him. I feel that these charges are very unfair.”
Meanwhile, Politico reported that Bannon has been reaching out to Republicans in Washington D.C. in an attempt to build strong relationships with elected officials.