The following is an excerpt from BENJY SARLIN | November 14, 2016 | nbcnews.com |
For the last six months, Republican leaders walked a careful line supporting Donald Trump. They supported his campaign and loved his running mate, Mike Pence, but they didn't agree with his positions on banning Muslims or mass deportations, or with the far-right figures who backed them.
That line was easy enough to maintain when it was just campaign rhetoric. But now Trump is signaling that the far right wing of the party will be going with him to the White House, where it will have a chance to influence policy, as well.
Steve Bannon, former president of the incendiary Breitbart News and more recently chief executive of Trump's campaign, is taking on a role as "chief strategist and senior counselor." Bannon's ascension is the clearest sign yet that Trump will maintain his ties to the populist white nationalism that helped propel him to the White House against overwhelming opposition from party leaders and traditional media.
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