November 15, 2016

Moulton Strongly Condemns President-Elect Trump's Appointment of Steve Bannon

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) released the following statement in response to President-elect Donald Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist. Moulton also joined his colleagues in sending a letter to President-elect Trump requesting that he rescind his appointment, included below.

 

"On the Wednesday after the election, I agreed with President Obama that President-elect Trump deserved a presumption of good faith. But it hasn’t even been a full week and Trump has appointed Steve Bannon as his Chief White House Strategist.

"In his work as the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, Bannon promoted stories that fueled hate and violence against people who are different from him. This is a man who has committed his life to advancing anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism. And this is a decision that empowers hatred at the highest levels of our government. Every American should be appalled by this appointment.

"If President-elect Trump is truly committed to healing our nation and representing all Americans, he will act to remove Bannon immediately. I condemn this appointment in the strongest terms, and joined with my colleagues in sending a letter to President-elect Trump urging him to reconsider," said Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA).

Letter below:

Dear President-elect Trump:

Immediately following your victory, many Americans were optimistic and hopeful that you would take the steps necessary to unify our country following the divisive and contentious election.  In your election night speech you said, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division.  It is time for us to come together as one united people.”  Unfortunately, your appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose ties to the White Nationalist movement have been well-documented, directly undermines your ability to unite the country.  As elected representatives of millions of Americans from diverse backgrounds, religions, and ethnicities, we strongly urge you to reconsider your decision to appoint Mr. Bannon to White House Chief Strategist.

Since the election there have been a number of incidents across the country in which minorities, including Muslim Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Jewish Americans, have been the targets of violence, harassment and intimidation. Mr. Bannon’s appointment sends the wrong message to people who have engaged in those types of activities, indicating that they will not only be tolerated, but endorsed by your Administration.  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.

As the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, Mr. Bannon repeatedly and aggressively pushed stories that promote anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism. During an interview last summer, Mr. Bannon bragged that Breitbart was “the platform for the alt-right,” a movement that upholds White Nationalism while strongly rejecting diversity in any form. Under Mr. Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart has referred to a leading Republican who opposed your election as a “Renegade Jew,” suggested “Young Muslims in the West are a ticking time bomb,” declared that the “Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage,” and praised the alt-right as a “smarter” version of “old-school racist skinheads.”

Disturbingly, leading white nationalists like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke, American Nazi Party Chairman Rocky J. Suhadya, Richard Spencer, Peter Brimelow, and Brad Griffin have praised the news of Mr. Bannon’s appointment.  We believe it should concern you that civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, are widely opposed to Mr. Bannon’s appointment.

We strongly believe that Mr. Bannon’s appointment will not allow the country to heal and come together as one. As one of your top advisors, the White House chief strategist will help set the tone for your administration. The person in this role must be prepared to serve the interests of all Americans, not those of a select few.

Once again, we strongly urge you to rescind this appointment immediately and build a diverse White House staff who are committed to the core American values of inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance.

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