BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey is blasting President-Elect Donald Trump for appointing a man celebrated by the white nationalist movement to serve as his chief strategist and senior adviser.
That appointee, Steve Bannon, is a former Breitbart News executive who led a website that appealed to the so-called "alt-right" — a movement often associated with efforts on the far right to preserve "white identity," oppose multiculturalism and defend "Western values."
Markey said in a statement on Monday that Bannon's elevation to the White House means "Donald Trump has chosen to champion the positions of neo-Nazis, white nationalists and anti-Semites."
"There is no place in our society, let alone the White House, for purveyors like Steve Bannon of hate and violence against any group of Americans," Markey said. "President-elect Trump will forever poison the well with Congress and the American people by appointing a figure who has fueled the rhetoric and activities of hate groups that actively promote violence against immigrants, Muslims, women, African-Americans, the LGBTQ community, and people of Jewish faith."
Markey is urging Trump to call on his appointees to renounce any connections with hate groups.
Incoming White House Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus on Monday defended the media mogul, saying the two made an effective pair as they steered Trump past Democrat Hillary Clinton and toward the presidency. He sought to distance Bannon from the incendiary headlines on his website, saying they were written by unspecified others.
"Together, we've been able to manage a lot of the decision making in regard to the campaign," Priebus told NBC's "Today." ''It's worked very, very well."
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