House Democrats are demanding that the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election should listen to the losing party in shaping the next administration.
A group of 169 House Democrats are insisting President-elect Donald Trump rescind the appointment of Breitbart News Executive Steve Bannon as Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon served as Trump’s campaign CEO for the final months of the general election campaign.
“Bigotry, anti-Semitism and xenophobia should have no place in our society, and they certainly have no place in the White House,” Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., said Wednesday in a statement.
“Whether intentional or not, the appointment of Mr. Bannon sends a disturbing message about what kind of president Donald Trump wants to be,” he added.
No Republicans signed the letter to Trump. Last week, Republicans gained control of the White House while maintaining control of both houses of Congress.
The letter to Trump said unity is impossible while Trump has an adviser like Bannon.
“Unfortunately, your appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose ties to the white nationalist movement have been well-documented, directly undermines your ability to unite the country,” the letter said.
“Millions of Americans have expressed fear and concern about how they will be treated by the Trump administration and your appointment of Mr. Bannon only exacerbates and validates their concerns. We strongly believe that Mr. Bannon’s appointment will not allow the country to heal and come together as one,” the letter added.
As Democrats hammered Bannon, others defended him.
Bannon’s critics are “folks that are bitter the election’s over,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said. “They didn’t get the result that they wanted.”
“Steve Bannon is someone who’s done a fantastic job implementing the president-elect’s vision on the campaign trail,” Miller said. “He’s someone I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the past three or four months, someone I’ve seen very high character from.”
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-large Joel Pollak told NPR that Bannon “has no prejudices, he treats people equally, and, in fact, during my time working closely with him at Breitbart for five years, he sought out people from diverse backgrounds and gave them a voice at Breitbart.”
Pollak said Bannon is “from a conservative perspective at least, a national hero, because in helping Donald Trump win, he’s helped defend the Supreme Court and the Constitution.”