Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), along with CPC Peace and Security Taskforce Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) made the following statements after President Trump removed Chief Strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council (NSC). CPC leadership, along with Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), sent a letter to President Trump on February 1, 2017 demanding he remove Bannon from the NSC.
“While Steve Bannon’s removal from the National Security Council is welcome news, it’s far from progress when he never should have been there to begin with,” Rep. Grijalva said. “The NSC handles the most sensitive matters of national security – it needs to be staffed by security experts who can draw from a career of experience, not a tabloid writer turned political hack. Elevating the views of a white nationalist like Bannon not only undermined the integrity of the NSC, but also provided a megaphone for hateful, dangerous rhetoric. I urge President Trump to rely on common sense more often when making staffing decisions for such important roles – lives depend on it.”
“It’s great that Bannon isn’t on the National Security Council anymore, but he never should have been there in the first place,” Rep. Ellison said. “Let’s not give Donald Trump too much credit. Steve Bannon is a white supremacist still employed at the White House with the ear of the President. He is one of the chief architects of the Muslim ban, the wall, and the proposal to dismantle 19 federal agencies. No person with such disdain for American values and institutions should work in the White House. He must be fired.”
“Steve Bannon has a long, divisive track record of anti-Semitism, sexism, and is revered by white nationalists and the KKK,” Rep. Pocan said. “He was a key architect of the discriminatory Muslim travel ban, which has further divided our country. Bannon should never have been in the White House to begin with, let alone anywhere near the National Security Council. Someone who stokes racism has no place in any Administration and President Trump should remove Bannon entirely from his White House.”
“The elevation of white supremacists to privileged positions in the White House reveals all you need to know about this presidency, said Rep. Lee. While I am relieved that Steve Bannon’s sick ideology will no longer infect the National Security Council, his continued presence in this administration is alarming to millions of Americans. I urge President Trump to show Steve Bannon the door and purge his administration of dangerous extremists. In February, I introduced H. Res. 140, urging the immediate removal of Steve Bannon from the National Security Council. More than 75 of my colleagues cosponsor the bill, which condemns his dangerous appointment.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.