Skip to main content Accessibility

Statement by SPLC President Richard Cohen on Stephen Bannon's ouster

From the moment Stephen Bannon – the man who said he turned Breitbart News into "the platform for the alt-right" – was named President Trump's chief strategist, we've called for his ouster.

And you have, too. More than 500,000 people signed our petition demanding that he be fired.

So, we can't disguise it, we're glad Bannon's gone.

We'd like to think that President Trump fired Bannon because he's come to his senses after Charlottesville and is turning away from the white nationalists Bannon represents.

But, frankly, we're going to need to see a lot more to believe that Trump has had a real change of heart.

Trump needs to fire the remaining white nationalist sympathizers in his administration, starting with his deputy assistant, Sebastian Gorka, who downplayed the threat of white supremacists just 10 days before Charlottesville.

More importantly, Trump needs to take concrete action to undo the harm his incendiary rhetoric and divisive policies have caused our country.

He needs to tell federal agencies to take the threat of white supremacist terror seriously. He needs to disband his voter fraud commission. He needs to tell Attorney General Sessions to defend, rather than tear down, civil rights protections. And he needs to do so much more.

So, we're glad Bannon's gone. But the truth of the matter is, the president has a long way to go to make good on his commitment to bring the country together.