President-elect Donald Trump announced Sunday that his controversial campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, will play a major role in his administration, setting off a firestorm of criticism.
Bannon, who edited the alt-right news site Breitbart before joining the campaign, was named Trump’s chief strategist, the president-elect said in a statement. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus was named Trump’s chief of staff.
While the news didn’t come as a surprise — Bannon was expected to have a role in Trump’s staff — it triggered an outpour of criticism from pundits on social media.
Many users pointed to what they considered racially charged, discriminatory rhetoric used on Breitbart under Bannon’s leadership. John Weaver, an adviser to Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, said his appointment meant the “racist, fascist extreme right” was “footsteps from the Oval Office.”
Here’s a glimpse at the criticism:
The headline is Reince but the news is Bannon. A person accused of anti-Semitism and white nationalism THAT close to the POTUS
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) November 13, 2016
The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office. Be very vigilant America.
— John Weaver (@JWGOP) November 13, 2016
So Preibus will deal with the actual hard parts of management and Bannon will still be in the West Wing advising Trump directly. Joy.
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) November 13, 2016
The appointment comes after days of nationwide protests, during which thousands of people took issue with the tone of Trump’s campaign.
Bannon’s appointment stands in contrast to that of Priebus, a party insider considered a generally safe pick for Trump’s administration.
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