The leader of a European white nationalist group posted photos of his visit to the White House Wednesday.
Patrick Casey, the leader of the group Identity Evropa, posted photos of his visit to Twitter. “Evropa has landed at the White House!” he tweeted.
The Daily Beast reports that Casey would have had to be escorted to the location where he took the photo by a White House staffer. The location where the photos were taken is not accessible to White House visitors or tour groups. The White House did not comment on the report.
1. Photo Op Comes After Trump Snaps at ‘White Nationalist’ Question
The photos were posted after President Donald Trump snapped at PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor for asking him whether his embrace of “nationalism” fueled white nationalists.
“That’s such a racist question,” Trump told Alcindor, an African-American woman.
“There are some people that say that now the Republican party is seen as supporting white nationalists because of your rhetoric,” Alcindor asked, “what do you make of that?”
Trump responded by falsely claiming to have the “highest poll numbers ever with African Americans.” An NAACP poll in August found Trump’s approval rating among African Americans to be 22 percent.
“My Q was fair & timely,” Alcindor tweeted later. “Patrick Casey, executive director of Identity Evropa, which Southern Poverty Law Center says is part of the ‘alt-right’s’ effort to recruit white, college-aged men and make them the ‘new face of white nationalism,’ tweeted that he was at the WH today.”
2. Identity Evropa Is a Designated Hate Group
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that Identity Evropa is “at the forefront of the racist ‘alt-right’s’ effort to recruit white, college-aged men and transform them into the fashionable new face of white nationalism.” Unlike groups that attack people of color, Identity Evropa is a campus-based group that focuses on “raising white racial consciousness, building community based on shared racial identity and intellectualizing white supremacist ideology.”
The group’s website decries the “fetishization of diversity” and “demand that we, people of European heritage, retain demographic supermajorities in our homelands.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group was founded in 2016 by Iraq War veteran Nathan Damigo with the goal of recruiting college students. “I think one of the major books that got me started was David Duke’s My Awakening, and I think from there the rest was really history,” Damigo told a radio show of the former Ku Klux Klan leader’s tome. Identity Evropa members helped plan the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last year, which killed counter-protester Heather Heyer.
3. Patrick Casey Wants to Return People of Color to Their Native Countries to Preserve ‘European Super-Majority’
Casey himself said in an interview earlier this year that the group believes the United States must have a “European-American super-majority” and called for an end to all immigration and a policy of “re-migration” to return people of color to their native homelands:
“We don’t believe America needs to be 100.00 percent white, but we do think that America isn’t going to be America if there isn’t a European-America super-majority. So when it comes to policies and so forth we’re concerned with reversing these trends. We want to end immigration for the time being. And in the future we would like to have immigration policies that favor high-skilled immigrants from, you know, Europe, Canada, Australia and so forth. And we also do want to have programs of re-migration wherein people who feel more of a connection to another part of the world, another race, another culture, even another religion in the case of Islam can return to their native homelands essentially.”
4. Identity Evropa Members Say Trump Represents Their Views
Two Identity Evropra members told CBS News after Trump was elected that they were “riding this wave of Donald Trump” and said the president was “the closest to us that we’ve ever had in recent memory.” When the interviewer pointed out their views were seen as racist, one of the men said, “I think those slurs like ‘racist,’ ‘white supremacist,’ ‘Nazi,’ these are anti-white slurs.’”
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the group’s membership “experienced a boost thanks to Trump.
James Allsup, a member of the group who is also a local Washington state Republican official and the former Washington State University College Republicans president spoke at a Trump rally during the 2016 campaign. He was later seen at the Charlottesville rally last year.
5. Trump Has Met With Far-Right Extremists at The White House
Casey is not the only extremist to visit the Trump White House, though it is unclear if he met with any administration officials. Earlier this year, Trump met with Lionel Lebron, a far-right activist who promotes that QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits that top Democrats are involved in a pedophile ring. Lebron posted a photo of the Oval Office visit to his Instagram page.
The Daily Beast notes that similar to Casey, a senior official would have had to bring Lebron into the Oval Office in order for the meeting to have occurred. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the time that “a large group came through the White House for a brief tour and a photo.”