Chris Patten is not a fan of Donald Trump. He has called the American president-elect “an existential threat,” saying his insulting comments about marginalized groups such as Muslims, Mexicans, women and people with disabilities, imperil the values that are fundamental to America’s identity.
Speaking at a sold-out event at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong titled A World After Trump and Brexit, Patten, the last governor of the former British colony, laid out his fears for the future and growing nationalism.
“It would be a terrible error if Mr Trump was seen to be celebrating the whiteness of the American society, without recognizing all other colors that go to make up the extraordinary American flag,” said Patten, a member of the British House of Lords and chancellor of Oxford University.
Patten pushed his critique even further by connecting Trump’s new White House strategist, Steve Bannon, with the support of the Ku Klux Klan.
His remarks came after a question from the floor asked what advice he would give Trump to ease the fears that have gripped governments and people all around the world.
“I would probably cancel the appointment of the chairman of Breitbart as his main strategic adviser,” Patten said.
“Anybody whose appointment is so enthusiastically welcomed by the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan is not somebody I’d like to spend an evening with.”
When Bannon was appointed head strategist earlier this month, it was applauded by a number of far-right groups and supporters, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke who told CNN: “I think that’s excellent.”
Human Rights Watch has also urged Trump to rescind the appointment of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor, as it “reaffirmed the racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic rhetoric” that characterized Trump’s presidential campaign.