Thursday, November 2, 2017

State Rep. Gilliard set to meet with Citadel president over Bannon appearance

Bannon is expected to deliver a speech at the dinner next Friday

Posted by Adam Manno on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 2:15 PM

click to enlarge Steve Bannon will reportedly speak at the Citadel Republican Society's annual fundraising dinner next month - FLICKR USER MICHAEL VADON
  • Flickr user Michael Vadon
  • Steve Bannon will reportedly speak at the Citadel Republican Society's annual fundraising dinner next month
click to enlarge Gilliard - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Gilliard
Steve Bannon's upcoming speech at the Citadel's Republican Society Patriot's Dinner has drawn the ire of state Rep. Wendell Gilliard.

Rep. Gilliard is set to meet with Citadel president Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa Thursday afternoon, according to Citadel spokesperson Kimberly Keelor Parker.

A Charleston native who represents parts of downtown Charleston and James Island in the South Carolina House, Rep. Gilliard has previously called for the removal of President Trump from office. In a statement, he described the intention of this meeting "to discuss the up coming [sic] visit by Mr. Steve Bannon."

Bannon is a media executive known for growing the website Breitbart News into a national talking point. He mentored writers such as Milo Yiannopoulos before joining Donald Trump's campaign as chief executive in August 2016. He then became a chief strategist for President Trump's administration before resigning in August amidst controversy following the racial violence in Charlottesville.

The lawmaker has also presented a 10-point memo for Lt. Gn. Rosa to present to all Citadel students.

"I oppose Steve Bannon's visit to the Citadel GOP club," the memo begins. "I don't think it is appropriate given our recent experiences. Steve Bannon essentially has established himself as the chief curator for the alt right." It goes on to call on students to "focus on those things that strengthen the integrity of the Corps of students and not those of division and hate."

The Citadel Republican Society's Patriot Dinner will take place on Friday Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Holliday Alumni Center. Tickets to the event start at $65. President Donald Trump attended the dinner in 2015 to receive the Nathan Hale Patriot Award. 

The Citadel Republican Society is a self-funded, student-led organization.

"The Citadel has been, and will continue to be, a venue where ideas from many points of view are shared," said Lt. Gen. John Rose in a statement Thursday afternoon. "Our community is a place where we discuss and debate a diversity of ideas in a civil, respectful manner. We are confident in the ability of our cadets, students, faculty, staff and community to decide for themselves if ideas presented by speakers have any merit."

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