U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is leading dozens of House Democrats in a resolution calling for President Donald Trump to fire any advisers who have encouraged white supremacists.
Reacting to last week’s racist violence in Virginia, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal is leading dozens of congressional Democrats in demanding President Donald Trump fire any White House staff who have encouraged white supremacists.
Jayapal, D-Seattle, introduced a resolution Tuesday condemning “fearmongering, racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and violence perpetrated by hate groups.”
The symbolic measure, co-sponsored by 31 other House Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, calls out as inadequate Trump’s belated and initially equivocal response to the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
It urges Trump to fire administration officials “who have supported or encouraged support for White supremacists.”
Coverage of the Charlottesville attack:
In a news release, Jayapal named Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist who previously ran the Breitbart News website, and advisers Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka.
“White supremacy must be uprooted from our society, but the president has elevated white nationalists to the highest posts of government. It’s time to get these people out of the White House,” Jayapal said in a statement.
Bannon, Gorka and Miller have been linked by critics to “alt-right” or white nationalist movements. However, several independent experts told the fact-checking site PolitiFact this week they do not regard any of the three men themselves as white nationalists.
Jayapal’s resolution also offers condolences to the family of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a man slammed his car into a crowd of people protesting the white- nationalist rally, and to the families of two state troopers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Berke M.M. Bates, who died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the rally.
The U.S. Justice Department has announced a civil-rights probe into Heyer’s killing.
On Monday, two days after he blamed violence on “many sides,” Trump specifically condemned the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists and neo-Nazis, calling them “repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans.”
That statement angered white-nationalist leaders, including Richard Spencer, who told reporters Trump should have criticized Virginia leaders for security failures.
On Tuesday, Trump flipped back to saying the anti-fascist protesters shared blame for the Virginia violence while defending some participants in the white-nationalist march.
Jayapal’s resolution calls on Trump to use “all available resources” of his office “to address the growing prevalence of such hate groups” and “unite the country against hate.”
The White House press office did not respond to an email seeking comment on Jayapal’s resolution Tuesday.