President-elect Donald Trump should rescind Steve Bannon's appointment as chief strategist and senior counselor, a group of 169 House Democrats demanded Wednesday, The Hill reported.
"Bigotry, anti-Semitism and xenophobia should have no place in our society, and they certainly have no place in the White House," said Rep. David Cicilline, who spearheaded the protest. "Whether intentional or not, the appointment of Mr. Bannon sends a disturbing message about what kind of president Donald Trump wants to be."
The group said Bannon's appointment is incompatible with Trump's promise of national harmony, stating "your appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose ties to the white nationalist movement have been well-documented, directly undermines your ability to unite the country."
The group warned: "Millions of Americans have expressed fear and concern about how they will be treated by the Trump administration, and your appointment of Mr. Bannon only exacerbates and validates their concerns. We strongly believe that Mr. Bannon's appointment will not allow the country to heal and come together as one."
The group does not include any Republican figures, and Trump's advisers have defended Bannon's character.
However, some conservative figures have criticized him. Radio host Glenn Beck told TheBlaze that Bannon represents a racist movement and should not be accepted into the Trump administration.
"When people really understand what the alt-right is, this neo-nationalist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy idea that Bannon is pushing hard, I hope they wake up because, if not, we are racist," Beck said.
On the other hand, some liberal commentators have said there is no evidence Bannon is bigoted. Civil liberties attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is Jewish, told MSNBC, "I don't know whether he's an anti-Semite or not. I just don't think you should toss that phrase around casually unless there's overwhelming evidence."
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