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Biden adviser: ‘MAGA agenda’ has no place in our democracy

Incoming White House staffer Keisha Lance Bottoms
Associated Press/David Goldman

White House senior adviser Keisha Lance Bottoms on Sunday said the “hate-filled” MAGA agenda “has no place in a democracy,” echoing President Biden’s primetime address last week in which he labeled the political movement a threat to the U.S.

Bottoms told ABC’s “This Week” host Martha Raddatz that Biden called out former President Trump and his fierce supporters to highlight the dangers they pose.

“This MAGA Republican agenda, this hate-filled agenda … that we saw incite violence on our nation’s Capitol has no place in a democracy,” Bottoms said. “And if we are not intentional about calling it out, which is what the president did, then our country, everything that our country is built upon, is in danger.”

Biden last Thursday appeared to divide the GOP into two camps: mainstream Republicans and the former president’s MAGA supporters, a movement that he has previously compared to “semi-fascism.”

Republicans have largely decried the speech, calling Biden a “divider-in-chief” and the address a political ploy while Trump slammed Biden as an “enemy of the state.”

Around 70 million Americans voted for Trump in the 2020 election, raising concerns that Biden, who campaigned on unity, is further dividing and polarizing the nation with his rhetoric against Trump and a prominent GOP wing.

When posed this question by Raddatz, Bottoms noted that the president has worked with mainstream Republicans to pass a bipartisan bill on gun control over the summer and will continue to do so.

“What the president has said is that mainstream Republicans, independents, Democrats can all come together,” she said. “We’ve seen us come together to do what’s right on behalf of the American people.”

While some in the Republican Party have pushed back against Trump — notably Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and nine other House Republicans who voted to impeach him for the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol — the former president has retained a strong grip on the GOP.

The political leader has demonstrated his lasting strength in the GOP by pushing to unseat Republican opponents. All but two of the House Republicans who voted to impeach him have announced retirement or fallen in a primary against Trump-backed opponents, including Cheney.

Trump continues to push the false conspiracy theory the 2020 election was stolen and said as recently as last week that he might pardon Jan. 6 defendants who stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop certification of the 2020 election.

Bottoms on Sunday told Raddatz the MAGA agenda has “been about distorting the truth” and “misleading people.”

“What the president has done as our commander in chief is he’s reminded us that democracies are fragile,” she said. “And if we are not intentional about preserving who we are as a country, if we are not intentional about reminding ourselves that there is a rule of law in this country, then we will be in danger.”

The Biden administration has also brushed off criticism for stationing Marines behind the president during an address in which he called political opponents extremists.

But Bottoms said the “president spoke optimistically about who we are as Americans.”

“We are the greatest nation in the world,” the senior White House adviser said Sunday, saying the speech is a “reminder that we have to be intentional about being the greatest nation in the world and that we have to call out hatred.”

Tags Biden Biden adviser Democracy Extremism Keisha Lance Bottoms Keisha Lance Bottoms MAGA Martha Raddatz Trump

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