WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and leadership of the Congressional Quad-Caucus – which is composed of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and sent a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the immediate removal of Steve Bannon, a white nationalist, from his permanent position on the National Security Council (NSC).
Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressional Quad-Caucus leadership released the following statements upon release of the letter.
CPC Co-Chair Ellison (MN-05):
“It’s bad enough that President Trump is stacking the NSC with a political ally. It’s even worse that this person is Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon is adored by white supremacists, white nationalists, anti-Semites, neo-Nazis, and the KKK. It’s not hard to see why. This man shouldn’t be allowed to visit the White House – let alone sit on the National Security Council.”
CPC Co-Chair Raul Grijalva (AZ-03):
“Steve Bannon cynically stirs the populist pot despite the elitism he embodies. Don't let his gruff exterior fool you – Steve Bannon is a Harvard Business School educated Wall Street elitist who made a career betting against the working class, and trafficking in hate speech and conspiracy theories. He represents some of the worst elements of our society, and he wouldn’t have the platform he has today if our new president wasn’t so easily persuaded by them.
“By stark contrast, the people normally charged with serving on the National Security Council are among America’s most talented and dedicated public servants. To see Trump remove positions like the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and replace them with the likes of Bannon – an oxymoron to anything related to the word intelligence – is unprecedented and unquestionably dangerous for our country.”
CPC First Vice-Chair Mark Pocan (WI-02):
“Steve Bannon’s appointment to this role represents a startling departure from how the National Security Council (NSC) has been run since its founding, which has traditionally put politics aside in favor of measured advice from military and national security experts. Mr. Bannon’s lack of national security experience and his ties to the alternative-right movement are deeply troubling. The outsized involvement of this unqualified and extreme advisor in our national security policy sets an extremely dangerous precedent.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13):
“By placing Steve Bannon – a man who has promoted the alt-right and white nationalism – at the center of our nation’s most senior diplomatic and intelligence council, President Trump has placed our national security in grave danger. Steve Bannon should be removed from his permanent position on the National Security Council immediately. There is no place for such inexperience and bigotry at the center of America’s national security apparatus.”
CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu (CA-27):
“In the first days of Trump’s presidency, all of our worst fears about Steve Bannon as a supporter of white nationalism have been confirmed. Under his influence, Donald Trump has said he would prioritize Christians over Muslims in his travel ban while flirting with – then doubling down on – Holocaust denial. Now, the elevation of the man who proudly gave a platform to the alt-right to the National Security Council risks politicizing this critical institution. The safety and security of the United States must be paramount to partisan politics. Steve Bannon lacks relevant experience and instead brings a divisive political agenda that is not fit at the core of our national security apparatus. I join my colleagues in calling on President Trump to remove Steve Bannon from a permanent position on the National Security Council and to prioritize expertise and experience in our national security.”
CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01):
“President Trump’s decision to demote the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the National Security Council and instead place Stephen Bannon on the Council is unacceptable and calls into question the judgment and motives of the Trump administration. Mr. Bannon is a political operative complicit in peddling white supremacist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic and misogynistic narratives. Mr. Bannon completely lacks the experience necessary to give an objective and informed opinion on global threats and his position on the NSC is a risk to our national security.”
CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (LA-02):
“I am not comfortable entrusting the security of the American people to an untrustworthy, white supremacist. Keeping us safe is the primary function of the federal government and appointing someone as unprepared and undeserving as Steven Bannon to the NSC suggests the president is asleep at the wheel. Mr. Bannon and his naked political motivations need to be immediately removed and replaced with someone who has the wherewithal to make reasoned, objective decisions in life or death situations.”