Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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Letter to President-elect Trump Protests Bannon Appointment to Key White House Role

Nov 16, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) joined fellow House Democrats in calling for President-elect Trump to reverse the appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.

In a letter sent to Trump today, 169 House members said Bannon’s work at Breitbart, an online news and opinion source that publishes bigoted content, makes him the wrong choice to help steer an administration that will unite a divided nation.

“As the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, Mr. Bannon repeatedly and aggressively pushed stories that promote anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism,” the House members wrote. “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.’”

The letter made the case that from a new role in the White House, Bannon will further split Americans along the fault lines of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

“We strongly believe that Mr. Bannon’s appointment will not allow the country to heal and come together as one,” it said. “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.”

House Republicans were invited to sign the letter, but none did.

A variety of civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, have opposed Bannon’s appointment, and U.S. citizens have protested it via social media and demonstrations across the country. Coloradans have been contacting Congresswoman DeGette’s office to applaud her stance against divisiveness, hate speech and violence and in favor of civil liberties.

Yesterday, Rep. DeGette issued a statement expressing concern over Trump’s appointment of Bannon and news about potential cabinet nominees who have proven divisive or destructive to progress on civil rights, the environment or health care in previous roles. She urged the president-elect to build an administration that promotes unity and firmly repudiates hate.