Lucian Wintrich, the Gateway Pundit’s White House correspondent, was arrested at the University of Connecticut Tuesday night after what UConn officials referred to as an “altercation.” Here’s five things to know:
1. He was Giving an ‘It is OK to be White’ speech
As the Hartford Courant initially reported, Wintrich was at the University of Connecticut to give a speech titled “It Is OK To Be White,” sponsored by UConn’s College Republicans (who declined to comment on the evening).
A few weeks ago, the Courant said, Wintrich had planned to give a talk of the same name at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, to be sponsored by the student group Turning Point USA. However, UMass said the group “was not comfortable” after Wintrich released publicity for the event, so the event was postponed until next spring.
Before the event, UConn’s College Republicans said Wintrich’s appearance was not organized by or for white supremacists, and that they intended to have a public question-and-answer session after the speech. Anti-racists were not persuaded, and protested Wintrich’s appearance.
2. He Jumped on a Woman who had Stolen his Notes
The altercation at UConn apparently started after Wintrich’s speech was cut short by a woman who appeared to take paperwork off of his lectern and walk away. Various videos taken on cell phone show Wintrich running up behind the woman and grabbing her, before bystanders got involved.
Police charged Wintrich with breach of peace, but released him later on Tuesday night.
Conservative writer Ben Shapiro tweeted about the incident, saying “1. Stealing people’s notes is dumb and bad. 2. This is a NUTS response to someone stealing your notes.”
Later that evening, Wintrich re-tweeted Shapiro with his own comment: “Hey Ben – just curious if you think that if someone steals property you don’t have the right to retrieve your belongings. Asking for a friend.”
The Gateway Pundit reported on events by saying “FAR LEFT PROTESTERS SHUT DOWN LUCIAN WINTRICH SPEECH TONIGHT AT UCONN.” Pundit founder Jim Hoft wrote that “The far left student activists were screaming throughout his talk. Lucian drank a glass of milk to trigger the leftists. He was attacked soon after this! They started chanting, “Go home Nazis!” They screamed and called him a racist. After the room was clearing out a far left couple approached Lucian at the podium and began harassing him. At one point the women STOLE Lucian’s material. Lucian screamed at her and jumped at her. The woman fell to the floor and the room erupted!”
Hoft also called out “Cuck conservative(?) reporter Lachlan Markay” (of The Daily Beast), for “attack[ing] Lucian Wintrich after the altercation.”
3. Wintrich Previously Reported That ‘Antifa Supersoldiers’ Were Plotting to ‘Behead all White Parents’
In late October and early November 2017, rumors flew among the far right that “antifa” were going to start a civil war on Nov. 4. Wintrich, writing for the Gateway Pundit, ran a sensationalist story headlined “ANTIFA Leader: “November 4th […] millions of antifa supersoldiers will behead all white parents.” Wintrich quoted a since-delete tweet from Tom Bloke, whom Wintrich described as “a thought leader of the far left.”
In addition to Bloke’s tweet, Wintrich also offered another example of a since-deleted violent Twitter threat from antifa: “we, ANTIFA, ARE going to Exploge the white USArace with acme tnt crates UNTIL they are cobered with soot and waving a white rag on a stick.”
Wintrich followed those two tweets with a bold-print subheading: “UPDATE: Far-left radicals now claiming it was a ‘funny joke.”
4. Wintrich is Openly Gay
Before writing for the Gateway Pundit, Wintrich was the founder of “Twinks 4 Trump” (not to be confused with the satirical Twitter feed @Twinksfortrump). In July 2016, Death and Taxes ran an article (illustrated with possibly NSFW pictures) calling the group “a sampling of humiliations the alt-right wants to inflict on you.”
Death and Taxes reporter Jamie Peck, referring to an alt-right party hosted by Milo Yiannopoulos during the Republican National Convention, wrote that “The first things I noticed at Tuesday night’s gay neofascist party during the RNC were the “Twinks 4 Trump” photos adorning the walls. Shot by alt-right believer Lucian Wintrich, the series depicts impossibly lithe androgynes posing in Trump hats and not much else and captioned on Instagram by quotes like ‘Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works… Waterboarding is fine, but it’s not nearly tough enough, ok?’ —Donald Trump. (Or as they prefer to call him, ‘Daddy.’)”
In Peck’s article, Wintrich admits most of the models were not actually Trump supporters, though during the photo shoots he did try to convince them of the benefits of Trumpism.
In March 2017, shortly after becoming the Gateway Pundit’s White House correspondent, Wintrich claimed that a homophobic Fox News reporter assaulted him at the White House (although, as the Advocate reported at the time, “no one who was there so far supports that claim.”
5. He has a Reputation for ‘Trolling’ Rather Than Reporting
In February, after the Gateway Pundit made Wintrich its White House correspondent, Media Matters noted his promotion by reporting “A Dangerous Troll Is Now Reporting From The White House.” Two months later, the Hollywood Reporter did a story about “48 hours with the media troll who is now part of the White House Press Corps.”
Wintrich is a Pittsburgh native, and in July 2017, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a profile piece headlined “Lucian Wintrich is a White House correspondent better known for trolling than reporting,” which opens with the sentence “Lucian Wintrich, a writer for The Gateway Pundit who mocks ‘serious journalists,’ admits: ‘Half of what I do is f—ing with people’.”