WASHINGTON – A fierce chorus of critics denounced President-elect Donald J. Trump on Monday for appointing Stephen K. Bannon, a nationalist media mogul, to a top White House position, saying that he will bring anti-Semitic, nationalist and racist views to the West Wing.
“It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house,'” Anti-Defamation League (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement cited by WBT website on Monday, November 14.
“We call on President-elect Trump to appoint and nominate Americans committed to the well-being of all our country’s people.”
The statement followed President-elect Donald Trump’s move to appoint Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor to the president.
“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” Trump said in a statement, calling Bannon and his new chief of staff, Reince Priebus, “highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory.”
“I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to work with Reince in driving the agenda of the Trump Administration,” Bannon was quoted in the statement.
“We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory. We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda.”
In immediate response, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Bannon turned his news website into “a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill,” and called on the President-elect to change his mind.
“Trump should rescind this hire. In his victory speech, Trump said he intended to be president for ‘all Americans.’ Bannon should go,” the group said in a tweet.
Bannon was also criticized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), accusing him of promoting “misogynistic and racist stories targeting women, people of color and immigrants,” and calling the newly appointed White House chief strategist an “anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist and White nationalist alt-right extremist.”
“The appointment of Stephen Bannon as a top Trump administration strategist sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and White nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House,” CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, said in a statement.
“We urge President-elect Trump to reconsider this ill-advised appointment if he truly seeks to unite Americans.”
On the campaign trail, the president-elect had promised to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
He later backed off from a complete ban, saying his proposal would keep immigrants from countries that have been “compromised by terrorism.”
The surprising election of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president is having its negative impact on American Muslims.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there have been more than 200 incidents of harassment and intimidation since Trump was elected. Many were directed toward African Americans, immigrants, Muslims and the LGBT community.