Nashville Congressman Calls On Trump To Take Strategist Steve Bannon Off Leadership Team

Nov 15, 2016

Congressman Jim Cooper is joining calls for President-elect Donald Trump to drop top advisor Steve Bannon from his leadership team.

The Nashville Democrat says Bannon's selection as Trump's chief strategist is a "terrible mistake" and describes Bannon a hate-monger and fear-monger who will make it harder for Trump to achieve his stated goal of reconciling Americans after a divisive election.

Bannon is a former Naval officer and investment banker, but he's best-known as the leader of Breitbart News. The right-leaning website has been seen as instrumental in propelling Trump to the Republican nomination and the presidency.

In a letter being sent to Trump, Cooper and 150 other lawmakers say Bannon has well-documented ties to the white nationalist movement. They also note that Bannon's appointment has been praised by former KKK leader David Duke and the head of the American Nazi Party.

"Since the election there have been a number of incidents across the country in which minorities, including Muslim Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Jewish Americans, have been targets of violence, harassment and intimidation," the letter says. "Mr. Bannon's appointment sends the wrong message to people who have engaged in those types of activities, indicating that they will not only be tolerated, but endorsed by your Administration."

So far, other Tennessee lawmakers have said little about the selection. Earlier Tuesday, CBS News asked Republican Sen. Bob Corker whether he supports Bannon.

Corker said he's reserving judgment because he hasn't met him.