WATCH: Nancy Pelosi calls Steve Bannon a white supremacist

The Democratic House Minority Leader didn't pull punches in criticizing Trump's chief strategist

By Matthew Rozsa
Published February 2, 2017 9:21PM (EST)
 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, didn't pull her punches when describing President Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as a "white supremacist."

"It's a stunning thing that a white supremacist, Bannon, would be a permanent member of the National Security Council," Pelosi said on Capitol Hill on Thursday. She added, "What's making America less safe is to have a white supremacist named to the National Security Council as a permanent member while the chairman of the joint chiefs and the director of national intelligence are told, 'Don't call us, we'll call you. You're no longer permanent members.'"

Pelosi was referring to Trump's decision last week to have Bannon attend the National Security Council's principals committee meetings. The president also took the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff off of the panel except when matters arose "pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise."

Before working for Trump, Bannon was best known for heading Breitbart, a site that he helped transform into a locus of activity for the white supremacist movement known as the alt right. Under his watch Breitbart ran many articles that were seen as misogynistic, racist and xenophobic.

Bannon's elevation to the National Security Council has coincided with the Trump administration's decision to deemphasize right-wing extremist terrorism in the government program Countering Violent Extremism and instead focus on radical Islamic terrorism.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Steve Bannon White Supremacism White Supremacist White Supremacy