The calls to fire White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon have become louder in the last few days after the president's highly criticized response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, VA. After President Trump failed to directly condemn white supremacist groups responsible for this weekend's carnage, his critics pointed to Bannon as the possible culprit.
Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), who also serves Trump’s National Diversity Council, made the connection in a statement Tuesday. While President Trump obviously should take responsibility for the lackluster statement in the wake of such racism and hatred, Bannon is clearly a bad influence, having reported ties to the "alt-right."
“Denouncing white supremacy without equivocation and without reservation should have been a no-brainer for President Trump. Sadly, it seems clear that influential members of his administration were more worried about winning votes through dog whistles and winks and nods to the most evil elements of our society than in maintaining the moral authority of the presidency.
“The exodus of CEOs from the President's advisory boards is perfectly understandable given the shallow, belated and feckless response to white supremacism and bigotry. The administration’s efforts to grow the American economy is now in peril because of the shameful pandering to bigotry. Many leaders of the Hispanic community have distanced themselves from this administration from the outset while I have tried to maintain some civil relationship with the administration in an attempt to push forward the priorities of our members. After the 2016 election, we committed to not only honoring its results but also stepping up to help the new administration grow our economy for the good of the American people, but the administration’s behavior makes continuing that role exceedingly difficult.
“Let’s be clear: the blame here ultimately resides with President Trump, but so too should the President’s chief strategist take responsibility for offering an attentive ear to racism and bigotry and his history of proudly cultivating the so-called ‘alt right.’ If the President wishes to maintain any credibility with the Hispanic community and other minority communities, he needs to purge his administration of all those who disparage diversity and inclusivity. Firing Steve Bannon is the first step -- and a needed step to begin the process of healing the bad feelings this administration has engendered.”
Fox News CEO Rupert Murdoch has also reportedly been a vocal proponent of Bannon's firing, as has former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.
Scaramucci told Stephen Colbert Tuesday night that if it was up to him, Bannon would be long gone. He said he doesn't believe Bannon to be a white supremacist, but he is concerned by his "toleration" of the movement.