A Rhode Island congressman says he is among 120 House of Representatives members calling on Donald Trump to rescind his appointment of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist.
Representative David Cicilline is circulating a letter among the members of the House blasting Bannon and calling for his withdrawal. The letter has attracted 120 co-signers, including the entire House delegations from both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, a spokesman for Cicilline said Tuesday.
The letter slammed Bannon’s past work at the alt-right website Breitbart News and argued that the move runs counter to Trump’s stated goal of bringing the country together.
“Your appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose ties to the White Nationalist movement have been well-documented, directly undermines your ability to unite the country,” Cicilline wrote.
“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,” he continued.
A press release announcing the letter indicated the full list of signers would be released Wednesday.
The appointment of Bannon to the White House post has drawn fierce criticism from Democratic leaders and anti-discrimination groups.
The letter comes at the same time members of the Senate are making a push for Bannon’s removal. Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid gave a fiery speech on the floor of the Senate Tuesday calling for Trump to rescind Bannon’s appointment.
Separately, several members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation spoke out against the former chief of alt-right website Breitbart News this week, including Melrose Democrat Katherine Clark, who called the appointment “exactly the wrong message for Americans who were fearful that Trump will continue his hate, bigotry, and division of the campaign into the White House.”Christina Prignano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.