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A key member of President Donald Trump’s National Diversity Council called on White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to resign following the president’s belated response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
On Tuesday, Javier Palomarez, the president and CEO of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, called Trump’s response to Charlottesville “shallow, belated and feckless,” saying that it made sense why a number of high-profile CEOs let Trump’s manufacturing council following the statement.
“Denouncing white supremacy without equivocation and without reservation should have been a no-brainer for President Trump,” Palomarez said in a statement provided to Business Insider.
Referencing Bannon’s boasts about helping to promote the alt-right, Palomarez also called for the former Breitbart News CEO’s resignation, saying that members of the administration continued to alienate Hispanic business leaders and were “more worried about winning votes through dog whistles and winks and nods to the most evil elements of our society than in maintaining the moral authority of the presidency.”
“The blame here ultimately resides with President Trump, but so too should the President’s chief strategist take responsibility for offering an attentive ear to racism and bigotry and his history of proudly cultivating the so-called ‘alt right,'” Palomarez said.
The statement continued: “If the president wishes to maintain any credibility with the Hispanic community and other minority communities, he needs to purge his administration of all those who disparage diversity and inclusivity. Firing Steve Bannon is the first step – and a needed step to begin the process of healing the bad feelings this administration has engendered.”
A Trump critic during the 2016 election, Palomarez oversaw the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce when it issued its first ever presidential endorsement for Hillary Clinton, citing Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric towards Latinos and minorities.
Palomarez made headlines in January when he joined the president’s diversity council following Trump’s election, and was reportedly considered for a position within the administration.
Despite his strong condemnation of Trump’s statement, a representative for Palomarez said he would remain on the diversity council.