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Kasich Asked About Allegation Of White Nationalist Control In White House, Responds To Protests

Andy Chow
Gov. John Kasich speaking at the 2017 AP Legislative Forum inside the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in Columbus.

Ohio’s top elected Democrat has been critical of the policies and executive orders coming from President Donald Trump. One of Trump’s Republican opponents was asked about these concerns and the public response.

The language included in President Donald Trump’s immigration ban and other executive orders is causing Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown to question the president’s advisors.

“It seems to me that the person most loudly whispering in the president’s ear is a white nationalist, Steven Bannon," said Brown. "He has already found a way to have more power in this administration as a white nationalist, a man who has played to racism, has played to anti-semitism. It’s clear that he is all of those things and he has been elevated in this White House to more, it seems, than an advisory role.”

Bannon is the former chair of the conservative blog Breitbart News which gathered a lot of support from the alt-right and white nationalists. However, Bannon has rebuked the notion that he identifies with white nationalists.

Gov. John Kasich was critical of Trump when they were running against each other for the Republican nomination for president. In a written statement Kasich said Trump’s immigration executive order that bans certain people from seven Muslim-majority nations is not aligned with America’s values. But during a forum with journalists, Kasich wouldn’t sayif he’s alarmed by the recent moves by the federal government.

“Are you concerned that there are white nationalists who have control in the White House right now?”

“Look I’ve said all I have to say. I’ve been in 11 or 12, 13 days. I’ve had a lot to say and I’m not saying any more today,” Kasich responds.

He did address the demonstrations and rallies that have been building around the state – one of which included Sen. Brown. Kasich says protesting is an American tradition.

“It’s just what we don’t want to do is develop hate.”

He went on to say that people on varying sides of the national debate on issues such as women’s rights and immigration have siloed themselves off from any other opinion.

“We all, all of us, including me, need to hear what other people have to say even if we don’t like it.”

Kasich says he worries that extreme members from either side could get into the mix and ramp up the protests to become more violent.

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