After being appointed chief of staff by President-elect Donald Trump, RNC chairman Reince Priebus’ first assignment is to defend another of his new boss’s appointments, Stephen Bannon, over racism and xenophobia. The Breitbart News executive was appointed as Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor.
Preibus’ hire has been lauded by Republican constituents and political experts, such as White House adviser David Axelrod and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Priebus is seen as a consensus builder and somebody who can help guide Trump through the trinkets of Capitol Hill. Bannon’s hire has faced much more scrutiny.
“He was a force for good on the campaign,” Priebus said of Bannon following the allegations made by critics. “I haven’t seen any of these things that people are crying out about.” Regardless, liberal critics believe Bannon and his decade-long career of opinion and editorial stances makes him a populist nationalist agenda-setting threat.
“Stephen Bannon was the main driver behind Breitbart becoming a white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill,” the Southern Poverty Law Center tweeted. “Trump should rescind this hire. In his victory speech, Trump said he intended to be president for ‘all Americans.’ Bannon should go.”
The Anti-Defamation League and its chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt also expressed outrage over Bannon’s appointment: “We call on President-elect Trump to appoint and nominate Americans committed to the well-being of all our country’s people… It’s a sad day.”
Despite all the backlash from critics, Bannon has nothing but praise for the new president-elect and his decision to appoint him to a top priority role. “I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to work with Reince in driving the agenda of the Trump Administration,” he said. “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.”
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