Steve Bannon is going to be one of the most influential voices in Donald Trump's White House.
And that has some of Minnesota's high-profile Democrats worried.
The president-elect picked Bannon (who helmed Trump's campaign starting in August) to be a chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon used to work for Goldman Sachs, and for a bit served as a top executive at the "alt-right" Breitbart News. The site and its supporters have been criticized as anti-Semitic, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and more. (Breitbart disagrees.)
Here are a few Breitbart headlines, for context:
- There's no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews
- Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy
- Hoist it high and proud: The Confederate flag proclaims a glorious heritage
- The solution to online 'harassment' is simple: Women should log off
- Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield
- No, JC Penney, Fat People Should Absolutely Hate Themselves
- Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew
Among them: Minnesota's Sen. Al Franken, who Tuesday said Bannon has "stoked hatred" throughout his career, and "should not be allowed to hold any position in the White House, let alone one that would allow him to make critical decisions about how our country is run."
Rep. Keith Ellison said Bannon is "adored by white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. It’s not hard to see why."
“If the President-elect is serious about rejecting bigotry, hatred, and violence from his supporters, he must rescind Stephen Bannon’s appointment," Ellison continued.
His colleague, Rep. Betty McCollum, said the same, and called Republicans' silence on Bannon "disturbing."
And the media have piled on too.
A CNN story recently said white nationalists see Bannon as an "advocate" in the White House for policies they want. The New York Times says critics describe Bannon as a "voice of racism," and in an editorial highlighted his quote about "turn[ing] on the hate" against the Republican Party. This former Breitbart editor has some issues with Bannon and the direction he took the site.
Politico though noted Trump team members pretty much all had praise for Bannon.
“Frankly, people should look at the full resume,” Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway said, according to the Huffington Post.