Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (D) joined Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), and Ed Markey (D-MA), as well as Senator-elect Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), to denounce on Tuesday what they say are acts of hatred seen across the United States since the election of Donald Trump.
In a Tuesday conference, the Senators and Senator-elect called on President-elect Trump to forcefully renounce these acts of hatred and immediately fire Steve Bannon, who they claim is a white nationalist selected by Trump as his Chief Strategist.
“First Donald Trump runs a campaign founded on racism, bigotry and sexism. Now he doubles down on division by bringing aboard as his Chief Strategist white nationalist Steve Bannon, who specializes in hate attacks. This is wrong. Totally, completely, absolutely wrong,” said Merkley. “We call on Trump to change course, reject hate strategies, and fire Steve Bannon. Bannon shouldn’t be allowed within 100 miles of the Oval Office.”
“At a time when our country is so divided, putting someone like Steve Bannon just steps away from the Oval Office is a serious mistake,” said Stabenow. “It is Donald Trump’s responsibility, as President-Elect, to help bring our country together. His appointment of Steve Bannon is the absolute wrong message to send to Americans today.”
“Quite frankly, it’s sad that we are having a debate about whether a white supremacist should serve as a senior counselor to the President-elect,” said Hirono.
“President-elect Donald Trump will forever poison the well with Congress and the American people by appointing figures like Steve Bannon to his administration whose stock and trade is hate and violence against the American people,” said Markey. “The most powerful message Donald Trump can send to the American people right now is to stand firmly on the side of our time-honored values of equality and tolerance and rescind Steve Bannon’s appointment as White House senior advisor and commit to an appointment process that celebrates the best of America, not the worst.”
“The President-elect is calling on Americans to come together. But when he hires someone like Steve Bannon, who has a history of ugliness, division, bigotry, and association with the alt-right, Donald Trump’s words of unity ring hollow,” said Van Hollen. “It’s easy to look into a TV camera and call for an end to the hate, but Americans are watching his actions. If Donald Trump wants to be a President for all Americans, he can start by taking action and firing Steve Bannon. His history of hate has no place in the White House.”
The Senators and Senator-elect called on the President-elect to renounce the attacks made on women and minorities throughout the course of his campaign, and demand that his followers cease their acts of hatred.