Sen. Bernie Sanders called on President-elect Donald Trump to rescind Stephen Bannon’s appointment as chief strategist and senior counselor on Wednesday. The former Democratic presidential candidate described Bannon as a “racist individual.”
Bannon headed Breitbart at a time when it became a gathering place for white supremacists and white nationalists, regularly running headlines that depicted white Americans as being under siege by black Americans. The site also ran headlines that denigrated women as being less intellectually able than men.
Bannon was accused by his ex-wife in sworn testimony of domestic violence and of saying that he didn’t want his children to attend a school because it had too many Jews and he didn’t “like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiny brats.’ ” (Bannon has denied the charges.)
Here is Sanders’ statement in full:
This country, since its inception, has struggled to overcome discrimination of all forms: racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia. Over the years we have made progress in becoming a less discriminatory and more tolerant society—and we are not going backward. The appointment by President-elect Trump of a racist individual like Mr. Bannon to a position of authority is totally unacceptable. In a democratic society we can disagree all we want over issues, but racism and bigotry cannot be part of any public policy. The appointment of Mr. Bannon by Mr. Trump must be rescinded.
On Tuesday, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid also called on President-elect Trump to rescind Bannon’s appointment, pointing out that the top aide to the incoming president was a “champion of white supremacy.”