Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has blasted President-elect Donald Trump's decision to appoint the former chairman of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon, who he asserts is publicly renowned as a white nationalist (video below).
On Nov. 14, Beck described Bannon’s recent appoint as Trump’s White House strategist as a horrifying development, asserting that it should give Americans grave cause for concern.
“Steve Bannon wants to burn it down,” Beck said during an interview with Right Wing Watch. “If you watch this show, you will learn what he wants to replace it with.”
Beck warned that Bannon was “a nightmare, and he’s the chief adviser to the president of the United States now.”
Later in the interview, Beck suggested that members of the press who accuse Trump of holding racist views instead focus their attention on Bannon.
“Because Bannon has a clear tie to white nationalists,” Beck said. “Clear tie.”
Beck pointed to Breitbart News, the website that Bannon had spearheaded for years, and warned audience members that the news outlet is a platform for the alt-right, a white nationalist and anti-Semitic strain of conservatism.
“He has built Breitbart as a platform for the alt-right,” Beck continued. “He’s on record saying that, he’s on record defining the alt-right. He knows what it is. He wants to tear this system down and replace it with a new system.”
Beck concluded that Trump had appointed a “terrifying man, and it speaks volumes.”
Ben Shapiro, a former Breitbart News writer who quit the outlet after Bannon refused to defend reporter Michelle Fields after an altercation with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, has accused his former boss of fostering a culture of white nationalism.
“The alt-right, in a nutshell, believes that Western culture is inseparable from European ethnicity,” Shapiro wrote in an editorial for The Daily Wire.
The former Breitbart writer added that he has “no evidence Bannon believes that personally. But he’s happy to pander to those people and make common cause with them in order to transform conservatism into European far-right nationalist populism.”
Shapiro concluded that Bannon is “one of the most vicious people in politics ... He likes to destroy people.”
Several civil rights groups have already denounced Bannon’s appointment to the White House, The New York Times reports.
“In his victory speech, Trump said he intended to be president for ‘all Americans,’” the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement. “Bannon should go.”
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, also condemned Bannon’s hiring.
“In his roles as editor of the Breitbart website and as a strategist in the Trump campaign, Mr. Bannon was responsible for the advancement of ideologies antithetical to our nation, including anti-Semitism, misogyny, racism and Islamophobia,” Pesner said. “There should be no place for such views in the White House.”
Meanwhile, Republican National Committee Chairman and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus defended Bannon, a man who he will serve a dual role with.
“He was a force for good on the campaign,” Priebus told Fox News. “I haven’t seen any of these things that people are crying out about ... It’s a good team, it works.”