'Long overdue': MN congressman lauds firing of Steve Bannon over 'white supremacist' ties

Bannon was fired Friday.
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Count Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz among those happy that Steve Bannon is gone from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

"No one with ties to white supremacist movements should ever serve" in the White House, Walz, a Democrat from Minnesota's 1st Congressional District, tweeted on Friday

"Bannon's exit was long overdue," he wrote, but added, "much more must be done."

Before we delve deeper into Walz's statement, though, let's get up to speed on Bannon, his departure from the Trump Administration, and what it all means. 

Who is he?

Stephen K. Bannon is a former businessman best known as the head of Breitbart News, a right-leaning media site that's been noted for its favorable coverage of the Trump presidential campaign

He became a household name last August when Trump made Bannon his chief campaign executive.

In the White House, Bannon served under the title of "chief strategist," and had a reputation as a major driving force behind the president's "controversial nationalist impulses," as the Washington Post put it

His seven-month (give or take) tenure was turbulent. His very presence in the Oval Office made some groups uncomfortable, and there were multiple reports that he clashed with fellow staffers

His days seemed to be numbered after an interview this week, wherein he spoke against other administration officials in what CNN called a "startlingly candid" way

White House officials say the decision to fire Bannon was made by Chief of Staff John Kelly, the Washington Post notes

Walz's accusation

Associating someone with white supremacists is a pretty serious charge – so how much is there to Waltz's statement?

First, it must be pointed out that in the same interview mentioned above (the one that probably got him fired), Bannon insulted "ethno-nationalism" and called the "far right" a "collection of clowns." 

He also said they are a "fringe element" and that "we gotta help crush it."

However, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish civil rights organization, points out that Bannon himself once "proudly" described Breitbart as the platform for the "alt right.” 

The group also noted that his hiring by Trump was celebrated by notorious white supremacists like David Duke.

And earlier this week, an op-ed in the conservative National Review called for Bannon's firing, saying "there is no room for an alt-right apologist in the White House."

There's a big 'but' here...

The ADL, while critical of Bannon's ties to such elements, says "we are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements made by Bannon himself."

They also point out that Jewish employees of Breitbart have defended Bannon against allegations of anti-Semitism. 

Additionally, Breitbart Jerusalem was launched under Bannon's tenure. 

And in fairness to Walz, he did not directly call Bannon a white supremacist, saying only that he had "ties" to such groups.

More about Walz

This week alone, Walz has shown a pattern of taking tough stances and fairly decisive actions where President Trump and his supporters are concerned. 

On Twitter, he has been outspokenly critical of Trump's initial failure to condemn white supremacy following the Charlottesville violence. 

And on Thursday, Walz announced that he, along with some other lawmakers, are introducing legislation to censure Trump over the Charlottesville fallout:

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