Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and others are staying neutral on the controversial Trump appointment: The chairwoman has a right to choose his staff
Republicans declined to criticize Donald Trumps decision to appoint Steve Bannon as the chief strategist to his impending administration, despite the latters record of promoting white supremacy.
As lawmakers returned to Washington on Tuesday for the first time since Trumps victory in the US presidential election, Democrat swiftly called on the president-elect to rescind his employ of Bannon.
But Republican said it was time to unify behind Trump and sidestepped questions on his promotion of antisemitic, anti-Muslim and misogynist content while supervising the alt-right website Breitbart News.
I dont want to accuse a human of being antisemitic or racist whom Ive never satisfied, told Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina told reporters on Capitol hill when asked about the Bannon appointment.
Ive never satisfied him. I wouldnt know him if he strolled in the door, he told, before adding of Breitbart: The website in question was a friendly site to the alt-right. I dont like them and they dont like me and Im glad.
Marco Rubio said he had no reaction to the Bannon news, even though the former Breitbart chairman used his website to try and undermine the Florida senators political career.
The president has a right to choose his own personnel, told Rubio, who ran unsuccessfully against Trump for the Republican nomination but was re-elected to a second word in the Senate last week.
Rubio also dismissed speculation that he might serve in Trumps cabinet, saying he had not spoken with the president-elects transition squad and would prefer to be in the Senate.
Trumps move to elevate Bannon, who served as the CEO to his presidential campaign, triggered immediate backlash on Monday.( Though not from white supremacists groups, who celebrated it .)
A sampling of the headlines under his stewardship at Breitbart were rapidly circulated. They included articles asserting that family planning built girls unattractive and crazy, referring to neoconservative commentator Bill Kristol as a renegade Jew, and likening Gabby Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who in 2011 was shoot in the head, to a human shield for the gun control movement.
The websites former utilize of a black crime topic tag was also highlighted, as was its portrayal of immigrants and Muslims as communities to be feared.
Harry Reid, the outgoing Senate Democratic leader, told Tuesday in a Senate floor speech that Trump should sever his ties with Bannon rather than installing him at the highest levels of the White House.
If Trump is serious about attempting unity, the first thing he should do is rescind his appointment of Steve Bannon As long as a champion of racial division is a step away from the Oval Office it will be impossible to take Trumps efforts to heal the nation seriously.
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