search
Sections List
American Journal News

Leaked chats reveal neo-Nazi group plotting to rebrand in Trump's image

White supremacists know they have a place in today’s GOP — as long as they wear their racism under a MAGA hat.

By Caroline Orr - March 12, 2019
Share
Donald Trump

Inspired by Trump’s embrace of racism and bigotry, neo-Nazis are now plotting to mainstream their racist ideology by rebranding themselves in Trump’s image and climbing the ranks of the Republican Party.

The plans were revealed in newly leaked chat logs published by the nonprofit media collective Unicorn Riot.

In the logs, members of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa discuss their strategy to revive their public image following the August 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the murder of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer and left many more severely wounded.

The group and its founder, Nathan Damigo, were involved in organizing the “Unite the Right” rally, and have since been named as defendants in a civil rights lawsuit alleging that they conspired to commit violence.

While some white supremacist groups tried to lay low to avoid drawing further scrutiny after Charlottesville, Identity Evropa adopted a different tactic.

Instead of avoiding the public eye, the group started to make plans to spread their hate by rebranding themselves as Trump supporters and quietly taking over the Republican Party — or as they referred to it, “the White man’s party.”

As revealed in the leaked chats, which took place between September 2017 and February 2019, the group and its leader, Patrick Casey, clearly view Trump’s presidency as a prime opportunity to increase the political power of the white supremacist movement.

“We have 6 years until he [Trump] is out of office — 6 years that shouldn’t go to waste. 6 years we should all spend on taking over our local GOP in every locality we can,” wrote one member.

In another part of the chat, Casey — who posted under the pseudonym ‘@Steven Bennet’ — said he had just joined his local Republican Party, and encouraged others to do the same.

“The GOP is essentially the White man’s party at this point (it gets Whiter every election cycle),” he wrote, saying that the group should take advantage of the opportunity to merge with the Republican Party and use it at as a platform for white supremacy, rather than trying to create their own party.

The group also talked about increasing their numbers through new recruitment efforts on college campuses. Identity Evropa is known for using propaganda, including flyers and posters, to target white, college-aged men for recruitment. According to the Anti-Defamation League, white supremacist propaganda campaigns on college campuses increased by more than 180 percent in 2018.

“If we’re going to win this, it’s going to take time, effort and sacrifice. If you’re unable to do activism for various reasons, I’d like to encourage you to join your local Republican party,” wrote “Bennet,” adding, “It’s actually quite easy to run for and win local offices. Let’s make this happen!”

He advised members of the hate group to “[p]resent as a Trump supporter/nationalist” in order to blend in seamlessly with the current Republican brand.

The chats are a damning indictment of what the Republican Party has become under Trump’s leadership.

Since Trump took office, his administration and its GOP allies have helped legitimize far-right extremism and enact it through policies such as the cruel practice of separating families at the border, dismantling civil rights protections, and minimizing or ignoring the threat of white supremacist violence while fear-mongering about the alleged threats posed by immigrants, refugees, and Muslims.

This has created an environment in which a Nazi (actually, multiple Nazis) can run for national elected office, a participant in the violent Charlottesville riot can become a leader in a state Republican Party, high-profile Republicans can schmooze with Holocaust deniers, a sitting congressman can comfortably endorse a neo-Nazi for national office — more than once — and GOP politicians and candidates can maintain ties to white nationalist extremists with no questions asked.

Trump, of course, has led the way through his words and actions, which have given the signal to extremists that they have an ally in the White House.

And clearly, that signal was received, as reflected in the activity of neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and other hate groups, which have flourished under Trump’s leadership. Deadly right-wing terrorism has surged since Trump took office, and in 2018, every extremist murder in the U.S. was linked to right-wing extremism.

While Trump has attempted to deny his role in inspiring violence, experts say right-wing extremists believe Trump is “offering them tacit support for their cause.” And they’re right — he is, as are his GOP allies.

Just last week, 23 House Republicans voted against a resolution condemning hate because it also included language denouncing anti-Muslim bigotry.

White supremacists and other extremists are clearly watching the actions of Trump and the GOP. They’ve seen Republicans open the door to racism, bigotry, and hate — and they know they have a place in today’s GOP, as they long as they wear their racism under a MAGA hat.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
Biden rallies Democrats in Las Vegas: ‘Imagine the nightmare’ if Trump reelected

Biden rallies Democrats in Las Vegas: ‘Imagine the nightmare’ if Trump reelected

By April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current - February 05, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
White House calls for focus on tutoring, summer school, absenteeism as pandemic aid winds down

White House calls for focus on tutoring, summer school, absenteeism as pandemic aid winds down

By Kalyn Belsha, Chalkbeat and Erica Meltzer, Chalkbeat Colorado - January 22, 2024
Trump legal problems abound as first test of 2024 presidential campaign nears in Iowa

Trump legal problems abound as first test of 2024 presidential campaign nears in Iowa

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom and Jacob Fischler, Georgia Recorder - January 08, 2024
December jobs report: Wages up, hiring steady as job market ends year strong

December jobs report: Wages up, hiring steady as job market ends year strong

By Casey Quinlan - January 05, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott floats building a wall on the Oklahoma border

By Jesse Valentine - February 22, 2024
More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

More than 48,600 18-year-olds are registered to vote in Ohio, a 35% increase from late August

By Megan Henry, Ohio Capital Journal - February 22, 2024
Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

Not if, but when: Parents of slain Parkland students urge Utah lawmakers to pass school safety bill

By Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch - February 21, 2024
Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

Key takeaways from Monday’s U.S. Senate Ohio Republican primary debate

By Nick Evans, Ohio Capital Journal - February 20, 2024