White House adviser has history of inciting racial division

Stephen Bannon is credited with helping craft the Trump campaign’s strategy of focusing on white rural voters.

WASHINGTON — Less than a week after President-elect Donald Trump pledged to govern for “all Americans,” Republicans and Democrats spent Monday sparring over Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s newly appointed chief strategist and senior adviser, who has a history of using a right-wing news platform to spread divisive views.

In appointing Bannon to a top advisory post, the president-elect sparked anger in black, Jewish, and Muslim communities — many of which were already skeptical of the incoming Trump administration. He also created an opening for Democrats and Republicans to raise concerns that Trump is aligning with the “alt-right,’” which to many critics is a rebranded form of white supremacy.

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Bannon, a former Wall Street investment banker who also worked in Hollywood movie production, became executive chairman of Breitbart News in 2012, where he served until joining Trump’s campaign for the White House in August. Under Bannon’s direction, Breitbart has been intensely criticized for its conspiratorial and harshly worded posts, such as “How Muslim Migrants Devastate A Community” and “Does Feminism Make Women Ugly?”

Through a spokesman, Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican who refused to vote for Trump for president, expressed concerns about the selection of Bannon.

“The president-elect has stated that he will focus on unifying the country after a divisive campaign and the governor is concerned that this selection runs counter to that important goal,” said Brendan Moss, a Baker spokesman.

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