Ellison: Trump must rescind Stephen Bannon's appointment

On the same day he announced his candidacy for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota is calling for President-elect Donald Trump to rescind his appointment of Stephen Bannon.

Sunday, Trump named Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff, and named Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon his senior counselor. Ellison says “if the President-elect is serious about rejecting bigotry” then Bannon “shouldn’t be allowed to visit the White House – let alone run it.”

Statement from Rep. Keith Ellison

“On Sunday night, President-Elect Donald Trump appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes. While on this program, the President-Elect took a minute to address his supporters who have harassed racial and religious minorities. The President-elect’s supporters have drawn swastikas on schools and churches, encouraged political opponents to commit suicide, threatened Muslim-Americans with violence, and committing other hate crimes.

“After addressing his supporters, the President-elect should turn his attention to the man he’s selected to run his White House: Stephen Bannon. Mr. Bannon has called the Pope a 'commie.' He has referred to the Civil War as the “war of Southern Independence.” He referred to liberal, college educated women as “a bunch of dykes.” And sworn testimony in a legal case alleged Mr. Bannon was a domestic abuser and that he stated he 'didn’t want [his children] going to school with Jews.'

“Mr. Bannon is adored by white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. It’s not hard to see why.

“If the President-elect is serious about rejecting bigotry, hatred, and violence from his supporters, he must rescind Stephen Bannon’s appointment. This man shouldn’t be allowed to visit the White House – let alone run it.”

Statement from Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota)

“Donald Trump’s hateful campaign has divided our nation. After the election, Mr. Trump promised Americans that he would ‘bind the wounds of division.’

“Yet his appointment of Stephen Bannon as chief White House strategist is proof of the ugly direction Mr. Trump intends to take our country. Bannon built his media career catering to white supremacists and anti-Semites. The fact that Republicans have been silent on Bannon’s appointment is a disturbing sign. It shows that the Republican Party has embraced Trump’s campaign agenda of blatant sexism, racial bigotry, and religious intolerance.

“This un-American ideology must be confronted both here in Congress and in our communities. For millions of people, including families in my district, Trump’s election means they are now living under a shroud of fear. Here in this House and at home in Minnesota, I pledge to keep fighting to defend our fellow Americans from Trump’s extreme agenda.

“If we want a strong America where all families have the opportunity to succeed, we must stand united and reject those who fan the flames of hate.”