In a scathing statement Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) demanded that President-elect Donald Trump rescind his appointment of Steve Bannon as a White House adviser.
Sanders described Bannon as “a racist individual” whose appointment to a high level White House position was “totally unacceptable.”
“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,” Sanders said in his statement. “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 Trump must be rescinded.”
The appointment of Bannon has been viewed largely as Trump doubling down on some of the darker tones in his campaign. Republicans in his own party have largely distanced themselves from Trump’s controversial pick with many lawmakers saying flat out that they don’t know Bannon or have never met him.
Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart news, is an antagonizing figure who has been denounced by a wide-range of Democrats, advocacy groups and some conservatives for his mainstreaming the alt-right.