Rep. Jayapal Calls on Trump to Fire Bannon, Others Who Have Supported White Supremacists
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The Washington Democrat is calling on the president to fire three staffers she claims support hate groups.
In the aftermath of the violence during the Charlottesville, Virginia protests and President Trump's widely criticized response, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is calling for the ouster of several Trump staffers she accuses of supporting white supremacists.
With backing from more than 30 other members of Congress, the Washington Democrat announced Tuesday that she's sponsoring a resolution asking the president to fire administration staff that “have supported or encouraged support for white supremacists.” While the resolution itself doesn't name specific staff members, an accompanying press release calls out Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka.
“White supremacy must be uprooted from our society, but the president has elevated white nationalists to the highest posts of government,” Jayapal said in a statement. “It’s time to get these people out of the White House. Donald Trump must unequivocally condemn hate groups and remove from the administration individuals who espouse bigotry or support white supremacists. Enough is enough. The president needs to take decisive action.”
As Slate notes, Bannon–the former chairman of Breitbart News and Trump's chief strategist, at least for now–has repeatedly evoked The Camp of the Saints, a racist novel popular among white supremacists. Under Bannon's leadership, Breitbart published a notorious article touting the work of Richard Spencer, one of the Charlottesville rally organizers, among other white supremacists.
Gorka previously served as Breitbart's national security editor before joining Trump's staff.
The resolution also calls on the president to denounce neo-Nazis and the KKK, and asks Trump's administration to use any available resources to suppress the growth of domestic hate groups.
While the resolution is non-binding, its passage (unlikely as that would be in a Republican-controlled Congress) would be a formal rebuke of Trump's response to the Virginia protests. In his first remarks after an Ohio man with ties to white supremacist groups allegedly drove through a crowd of counter-protesters killing Heather Heyer on Saturday, Trump neglected to repudiate white supremacist groups by name.
Following a wave of criticism, Trump used more forceful words Monday at the White House.
"Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," he told reporters.