By Mike Lillis - 02-02-17 12:34 PM EST
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed Stephen Bannon on Thursday, saying President Trump's senior adviser is a racist who has no business sitting on the National Security Council (NSC).
"It's a stunning thing that a white supremacist, Bannon, would be a permanent member of the National Security Council," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.
Bannon, a former executive with Breitbart News, is a senior adviser to the president.
Trump reorganized the NSC last week to regularly include Bannon, a former executive for Breitbart News, at meetings of the group's principals committee. At the same time, he removed the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the panel. Those figures have instead been asked to participate only during meetings on "issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise."
"What's making America less safe is to have a white supremacist named to the National Security Council as a permanent member while the chairman of the joint chiefs and the director of national intelligence are told, 'Don't call us, we'll call you. You're no longer permanent members,'" Pelosi said.
This isn't the first time the Democratic leader has gone after Bannon.
In November, just after the election, Pelosi huddled with then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence in her Capitol office, where she urged him to try to convince Trump to drop Bannon as a top advisor. At the time, she characterized Bannon as a white nationalist.
The "supremacist" tag takes the criticism a step further, leaving no doubt that the Democratic leader considers Bannon a racist.
Pelosi's comments came a day after a group of House Democrats wrote a letter to Trump urging him to remove Bannon from the NSC.
"[We] demand you immediately undo the politicization of America's national security," they added. "It is completely dangerous and morally reprehensible."
The letter was endorsed by Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Ra l Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.).