House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said, "Donald Trump has the ability to select who he thinks to move forward."A leading House Republican defended the appointment of Stephen K. Bannon to a top White House role, saying Monday that President-elect Donald Trump had the right to choose his own team.Bannon took leave as the head of the far-right Breitbart News to run Trump's campaign, which the site backed early in the presidential race. In addition to espousing a fringe viewpoint, Breitbart is a platform for the so-called alt-right, activists who promote racist and anti-Semitic views.House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), briefing reporters for the first time since the election as Congress returned&nbsp;to session Monday, said he spoke with Bannon&nbsp;on Sunday night in what he termed a brief conversation to get acquainted.McCarthy&nbsp;praised Trump's decision to name Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as the White House chief of staff, and said he trusted Priebus' assessment that Bannon's reputation was out of step with his real persona."I've always believed in giving somebody a chance," McCarthy said. "Everybody I know that worked with him on the campaign says that it's different than who he is."McCarthy was asked about Bannon's appointment as chief strategist&nbsp;half a dozen times in a question and answer session that last more than half an hour. One reporter listed some of the most controversial headlines that Breitbart&nbsp;posted under Bannon's leadership, recounted&nbsp;public comments he has made&nbsp;and summarized a police report in which anti-Semitic sentiments were attributed to him.McCarthy questioned whether it was fair to ascribe Breitbart content to Bannon personally, as reporters would not want to be judged by everything their own outlets publish. Bannon, however, ran Breitbart."I do not know Steve. I do not know what he has said," McCarthy said. "Nowhere would I ever stand behind those words. But Donald Trump has the ability to select who he thinks to move forward."McCarthy also said the public should not prejudge Trump himself.&nbsp;"Give him an opportunity to govern," he said. "If there's something that he proposes that you disagree with, fight it. But why do you prejudge him when the election's a week &ndash; it's not even a full week."