Sens. Richard Blumenthal ’LAW 73, D–Conn., and Chris Murphy, D–Conn., condemned President-elect Donald Trump on Monday for appointing former Breitbart News chairman Stephen Bannon as his senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist.
The two U.S. senators joined a host of civil rights groups, Democratic leaders and Republican strategists in denouncing Bannon, who they said will bring anti-Semitic, nationalist and racist attitudes to the White House. Speaking with Murphy at a joint press conference, Blumenthal called Breitbart “a website that deals in anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, misogynic comments.” He also expressed his hope that Trump would reconsider the appointment.
“[Bannon] really should have no place in a position of authority in the upcoming administration,” Blumenthal said. “It sends a terrible message in light of [Trump’s] stated intention to bring the country together and bridge divisions.”
Trump announced Bannon’s appointment on Sunday along with the appointment of Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, as White House chief of staff. In a statement Sunday, Trump praised Bannon and Priebus as “highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign.”
Murphy applauded the president-elect for recently telling supporters that there is no place for acts of hatred or bias in his administration, but called Bannon’s appointment “very troubling.”
“The appointment of Steve Bannon runs directly contrary to the positive messages that Donald Trump has been sending to the country and to his supporters since his election,” Murphy said. “For those immigrant families, for those Muslim families, that are worried about what the next four years will hold, these presidential appointment announcements don’t allay those fears at all.”
Bannon has said that he has zero tolerance for racist or anti-Semitic views.