Democratic Party House Leader Nancy Pelosi has called on Congress to censure President Donald Trump after his reaction to the violence at a rally organized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A censure is a rarely-used power that can represent a step towards impeachment, Politico reports.
"The President's repulsive defense of white supremacists demands that Congress act to defend our American values," Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico.
Seventy-nine Democrats in the House have reportedly signed on to the effort. However, it has little chance of success because Republicans hold majorities in both chambers.
Although some GOP politicians have criticized Trump over his response to the events in Charlottesville, it is considered unlikely that they would back a censure of him.
"Every day, the president gives us further evidence of why such a censure is necessary," added Pelosi.
Three Democratic representatives have introduced a resolution censuring Trump, which declares that he "has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country."
The resolution called for Stephen Bannon and Sebastian Gorka to be removed from their positions as advisers to Trump because of their "ties to white supremacist movements."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Aug. 18 that Bannon is departing his White House position.
"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," she told reporters, according to The New York Times. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."
Close advisers to Trump said the situation had become untenable, with Trump allegedly believing Bannon had leaked information to the press.
Retired General John Kelly, who took over as Trump's chief of staff in July, was reportedly evaluating Bannon's position during recent weeks.
Pressure grew for Trump to remove Bannon following the Charlottesville events and Trump's statement in which he said both sides were to blame for the violence.
In an Aug. 16 interview with the American Prospect, Bannon criticized some of Trump's aides. White House sources told The New York Times that Bannon did not expect to be kept on after the interview and had started making plans to return to the right-wing news site Breitbart, which he headed before getting involved in Trump's election campaign.
Bannon could remain a close confidante for Trump from the outside. The pair share an economic nationalist outlook.
Sources: Politico, The NewYork Times / Featured Image: Nancy Pelosi/Flickr / Embedded Images: Randy Harris/Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office via Defense Video Imagery Distribution System, Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons