POLITICS — Bannon may be out, but his troubling legacy remains

Two unnamed administration officials told The New York Times on Friday that Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon had tendered his resignation earlier in the month and was on his way out. The news came as a pleasant surprise to those who had long petitioned for his dismissal, though others quickly noted that, even with Bannon gone, his racist policies still live on.

“I’m happy Bannon will no longer work in the White House. But his departure can’t wash away the harm he and [the president] have done,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) tweeted. In an attached statement, he added, “It can’t reverse the Muslim ban. It can’t reverse the president’s inappropriate attacks on a federal judge of Mexican heritage. And it can’t reverse the White House’s reluctance to denounce white supremacists.”

Bannon has a long history of questionable behavior and racist comments. And after President Trump was sworn in, he made sure those views were turned into policy as soon as possible.

Just one week after Trump came into office, Bannon and Senior Adviser Stephen Miller spearheaded efforts to craft a travel ban specifically targeting Muslims, though the White House would deny that detail later. Trump signed the executive order on January 27, giving homeland security staffers virtually no time to review the order before it went into effect, according to CNN.

The ban was immediately criticized as unnecessarily harsh: not only did it discriminate against travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, it effectively banned all refugees from entering the country at all, regardless of their application status. It also barred lawful residents—green card holders—from re-entering the country, leaving scores of people stranded at airports across the country. Though the Department of Homeland Security at first interpreted the order to exclude green card holders, Bannon and Miller overruled that decision personally.


Image: Michael Vadon