Washington D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement regarding President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Steve Bannon to the White House staff:
“I am extremely disturbed that as one of his first decisions as President-elect, Donald Trump has announced his appointment of Steven Bannon as White House Chief Strategist. Mr. Bannon is the Executive Chairman of the website Breitbart News, where he has repeatedly and aggressively pushed stories that promote Anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism. Under Mr. Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has served as a “platform for the alt-right,” a movement that supports White Nationalism and openly rejects the value of diversity.
“Following the President-elect’s announcement, leading white nationalists like former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon David Duke have applauded the news of Mr. Bannon’s appointment. In contrast, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center are strongly opposed to Mr. Bannon’s selection.
“Mr. Bannon’s appointment will serve as a barrier to our country coming together following the election. As one of President-elect Trump’s top advisors, the White House Chief Strategist will help set the tone for the incoming administration. The person in this role must be prepared to serve the interests of all Americans, not those of a select few. In recognition of these concerns, I have signed on to a letter, along with 169 of my congressional colleagues which calls on President-elect Trump to rescind his appointment of Mr. Bannon and work to build a diverse White House staff that is committed to the core American values of inclusiveness, diversity, and tolerance.
“I have pledged to hold President-elect Trump accountable from day one, if he continues to divide us as a nation through his appointments to the Presidential Cabinet or through his proposed policies, I pledge to fight him every step of the way.”