Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) was right to call former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon a white supremacist, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) contended on Sunday.
“I agree that Steve Bannon is a white supremacist, and [senior White House adviser] Stephen Miller seems to be. And I know that studies have shown that they have their allies sprinkled around the White House,” Brown said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” without naming the studies.
Brown’s comments come after Wilson, who is black, charged that President Donald Trump’s attacks against her over a phone call he placed to the widow of a black soldier were racially motivated.
“The White House itself is full of white supremacists,” Wilson told The New York Times on Friday.
In a separate appearance on MSNBC on Sunday, Wilson demanded that White House chief of staff John Kelly apologize to her for “character assassination.”
Kelly on Thursday criticized Wilson at a White House press briefing, calling her an “empty barrel” who wrongly took credit for securing funding for an FBI field office in Miami. A video published by the Sun-Sentinel, however, showed that Wilson had not done so.
“Not only does he owe me an apology, but he owes an apology to the American people,” Wilson said on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.”
Trump again attacked Wilson in tweets earlier on Sunday, calling her “wacky” and “the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party.”
The back-and-forth between Wilson and Trump stems from a phone call the president made last week to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of one of four soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month.
Wilson, a friend of the Johnson family, was with the widow when Trump called and heard the conversation on speakerphone. Wilson said the president told Johnson that her husband “must’ve known what he signed up for.” Wilson publicly criticized the comment, saying it showed Trump has “no feelings for anyone.”
Trump denied making the comment and started blasting Wilson, though her account of the call was backed up by others who heard it. Kelly, whose son died while serving in Afghanistan, made a rare appearance at Thursday’s White House press briefing to criticize Wilson for publicizing Trump’s call.
In his interview on CNN, Brown lamented that Trump engaged in fights as often as he did.
“I would say it’s sad, it’s worse than sad, that the president engages in this kind of name-calling,” Brown said. “I just wish he’d apologize ... he could say, you know, it didn’t come out right, I’m sorry it came out that way, of course I respect, and then mention the congresswoman by name and mention the widow by name. It would be a nice touch if the president would once in a while act that way instead of always attack, always attack, always demean the way he does, too often.”