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Conn. Senators Condemn Bannon Appointment

J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., left, accompanied by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in June.

Connecticut’s two U.S. senators are concerned that Donald Trump is appointing his campaign CEO Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist and senior counselor.

Senior Senator Richard Blumenthal says it’s wrong for Trump to give a position of authority to Bannon, who is the chairman of the controversial Brietbart News website.

“Steve Bannon is associated with a website that spreads anti-Semitic and racist messages. An individual associated with xenophobic, racist, anti-Semitic comments should have no place in the White House,” Blumenthal said at a news briefing in Hartford on Monday.

Chris Murphy, Connecticut’s junior U.S. senator, said the Bannon appointment is contrary to Trump’s promise to be a president for all Americans.

“My intention is to hold Donald Trump to the words he has used over the past few days, and make that notwithstanding the appointment of Steve Bannon, he’s going to work to try to bring this country together.”

The senators also commented on the possibility that former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon will be offered a cabinet post in the Trump Administration.

McMahon, a longtime friend and financial supporter of Trump’s, is being considered for a cabinet position, possibly secretary of commerce.

Senator Blumenthal said, “If she’s nominated to be commerce secretary, she will come before the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation where I serve, and I will be pleased to consider her nomination.”

Murphy’s response to reporters: “I read one headline about that so I don’t have any thoughts at this point.”

Both men won their seats in the U.S. Senate by defeating McMahon – Blumenthal in 2010 and Murphy in 2012.

The senators were speaking in Hartford at a news briefing about their agenda for the upcoming lame duck session in Congress. They say they expect some defense spending bills that would benefit Connecticut to be passed during the session.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.