SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has condemned President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to name Breitbart news executive Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.
In a written statement on Monday, Pelosi said Bannon’s appointment is an “alarming signal” from the next president.
“There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump Administration,” Pelosi said.
The representative from San Francisco said Democrats would “strongly oppose attempts by this Administration to scapegoat and persecute Americans because of who they are, how they worship, or who they love.”
Pelosi joins other Democrats and some Republicans condemning the decision.
“President-elect Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon as his top aide signals that white supremacists will be represented at the highest levels in Trump’s White House,” Adam Jentleson, spokesperson for outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said to The Washington Post.
John Weaver, a Republican who worked for Republican John Kasich’s campaign tweeted the “fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office.”
Bill Kristol, who was once called on Breitbart a “Republican spoiler, renegade Jew,” described Bannon in a tweet as “disreputable” and “unstable.”
Before joining Trump’s campaign, Bannon ran the website which has become a favorite of the alt-right, a movement The Associated Press said is often associated with efforts to preserve “white identity,” oppose multiculturalism and defend “Western values.”
Headlines on the site have included “Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer?” and “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.”
Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Monday said “That wasn’t his writing,” referring to Bannon, although he did not specify which, if any were Bannon’s work.
Bannon has also been accused of prejudice. In a sworn court declaration following their divorce obtained by the AP, Mary Louise Piccard said her ex-husband had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy because he “didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.”
Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Bannon, denied he’d ever said such things.
Bannon also faced domestic violence charges following an altercation the pair had on New Year’s Day 1996 following a spat over money. He was charged in 1996 with misdemeanor witness intimidation, domestic violence with traumatic injury and battery. The charges were dropped after Piccard didn’t show up at trial.
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