WASHINGTON (CBS SF) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) condemned President Donald Trump senior counselor Steve Bannon, calling him a “white supremacist.”
Pelosi said in her weekly news conference on Thursday that Bannon, who has been named to the National Security Council, is “making America less safe.”
Bannon, who was previously CEO of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and CEO of the controversial ultra-conservative Breitbart News website, was named to the council that has previously been insulated from politics.
As part of the reorganization, Bannon was designated as a member of the council’s Principal’s Committee, while the director of national intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were made optional members of the committee.
“It’s a stunning thing that a white supremacist, Bannon, would be a permanent member of the National Security Council and dismissing the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the director of national intelligence,” Pelosi said.
Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended the move to position Bannon on the council, saying President Obama’s political adviser David Axelrod and press secretary Robert Gibbs also attended NSC meetings.
However, Axelrod and Gibbs were not members of the NSC, unlike Bannon.
Pelosi’s comments on Thursday echo statements she made about Bannon soon after the election, when Trump picked him to be his chief strategist.
“There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump Administration,” the representative from San Francisco said in November.
Pelosi also on Thursday also condemned Trump’s executive order banning refugees and travel by citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, calling it “unconstitutional, immoral and dangerous.”
“The president claims this is about security, but national security experts are speaking out on the president’s cruel and reckless ban makes America less safe. Over 900 American diplomats have risked their careers to send a message that the president’s ban makes America less safe,” Pelosi said.