U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has been adamant in his demand that President-elect Donald Trump remove former Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon from his leadership team.
Today, Merkley went further, taking that call to the floor of Congress.
In a speech on the U.S. Senate floor, Oregon's junior senator connected the hiring of Bannon—who ran a news website that became a beacon for the white nationalist and anti-Semitic groups known as the "alt-right"—with reports of nationwide hate crimes.
"Donald Trump has a responsibility to put an end to the prejudice and put an end to the hate crimes sweeping our nation," Merkley said. "Put the hate speech and hate acts behind you. Don't bring white supremacists or deeply prejudiced individuals into your administration."
Merkley and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) have both called this week for Trump to drop Bannon as his chief White House strategist.