Senate

Senate Dems to Trump: Fire Bannon

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A growing number of Senate Democrats are demanding that President-elect Donald Trump fire Stephen Bannon, arguing he should not be given a White House position. 

“We call on President-elect Trump to exclude the proponents of discrimination and hatred from the ranks of his administration, and that includes immediately firing Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). “It is time for Donald Trump to act boldly … to put the nation on a path of healing.” 
 
{mosads}Merkley, as well as Democrat Sens. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Sen.-elect Chris Van Hollen (Md.), spoke to reporters during a press conference next to a sign that read “Fire Bannon.” 
 
Stabenow argued that picking Bannon as a chief strategist and senior counselor is the “wrong message” after a contentious presidential election. 
 
“This is someone who has expressed racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT sentiments,” said Stabenow, a member of Senate Democratic leadership. “This is someone whose views do not belong in the White House.” 
 
Democrats have widely panned Trump for giving Bannon a White House job. Tuesday’s press conference comes after Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Al Franken (Minn.) separately said on Tuesday that Trump must take back his job offer to Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive. 
 
Merkley also launched a MoveOn.org petition urging supporters to “tell Trump: Fire Steve Bannon.”  
 
Democrats argue Bannon’s appointment goes against Trump’s pledge during his victory speech that he would work with Democrats and reach out to voters who did not support him. 
 
Markey said Tuesday that appointments like Bannon “will forever poison the well with Congress and the American people” after Democrats offered a tentative olive branch to Trump.
 
Trump’s transition team announced Sunday his pick of Bannon to serve as his chief strategist alongside Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman who was named White House chief of staff. 
 
GOP lawmakers have generally avoided discussing Bannon, the Breitbart News executive who served as Trump’s campaign chairman, while other Trump advisers have defended him.
 
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said people should look at Bannon’s entire career, which includes stints on Wall Street, in the Navy and in Hollywood.
 
“He has got a Harvard business degree. He’s a naval officer. He has success in entertainment,” Conway told reporters Monday in Trump Tower, according to The New York Times. She also called him a “brilliant tactician.”
 
Bannon has repeatedly attacked Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). But Ryan shrugged off questions about Bannon at a press conference earlier on Tuesday, saying it was time to “look forward.” 
Tags Al Franken Debbie Stabenow Donald Trump Ed Markey Jeff Merkley Mazie Hirono Paul Ryan Sherrod Brown

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