Yet again, a White House staffer has been discovered to be connected to someone with ties to white nationalists.
The Washington Post’s Robert Costa reported on Tuesday:
The publisher of a website that serves as a platform for white nationalism was a guest last weekend at the home of President Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow.
Peter Brimelow attended the gathering, a birthday bash for Kudlow, one day after a White House speechwriter was dismissed in the wake of revelations that he had spoken alongside Brimelow on a 2016 panel.
Brimelow, 70, was once a well-connected figure in mainstream conservative circles, writing for Dow Jones and National Review. But over the past two decades, he has become a zealous promoter of white-identity politics on Vdare.com, the anti-immigration website that he founded in 1999.
Kudlow said he has known Brimelow “forever” but somehow was not aware of his role in the white nationalist community.
“If I had known this, we would never have invited him,” Kudlow said. “I’m disappointed and saddened to hear about it.”
How he could know someone for so long — and so well — without knowing such a significant piece of his narrative is raising questions. But the bigger concern for some Americans is: Why does this keep happening?
The day before the party, a White House speechwriter was fired for speaking at an event where Brimelow was also a panelist. Darren Beattie was fired last week after CNN reported he had spoken at a 2016 conference alongside the well-known white nationalist.
What’s more plausible to some who have been concerned about the Trump administration’s relationship with white supremacists is that Kudlow knew but did not care.
That theory stems from the belief that the Trump White House may not be as repulsed by the ideologies espoused by white supremacists as many would hope. Nearly 60 percent of Americans who responded to a Quinnipiac poll in the aftermath of the Charlottesville clashes in 2017 said they believe President Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups.
And as I previously wrote for The Fix:
After white nationalists organized the Unite the Right rally last year in Charlottesville, in defense of Confederate monuments, Trump called them “very fine people.” A few months later, most Americans said they believed Trump is racist, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for the firing of ESPN’s Jemele Hill when she tweeted Trump was “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” Even if one disagrees with that characterization, it does appear the list of White House staffers who associate with those who believe in the superiority of white people is growing longer. Large numbers of Americans find that unacceptable.