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Opinion: NOM’s Brian Brown Is Lying About The Anti-Gay Regnerus Study

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NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, recently admitted to guilt in 18 counts of California state campaign finance law violations.

For breaking the law eighteen times, NOM in California had to pay a $49,000 fine.

That fine is less that the tens of millions that NOM spends — and/or organizes towards spending — for its allegedly “Christian” mission of blocking gay people from civil rights — at a time when there over 600,000 homeless in the United States.

The $49,000 fine also is less than the $55,000 “planning grant” that NOM-related officials, as part of the Witherspoon Institute, arranged for a study booby trapped to make gay parents look bad.

The study, by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin, features a cherry picked control group compared to a test group loaded up with variables.

All of Regnerus’s control group respondents were raised by continuously-married heterosexual couples.

By contrast, Regnerus’s test group respondents, improperly labeled as having “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers,” had suffered such variables as 1) one parent dying prematurely; 2) a single parent disabled in an accident; 3) a mother who divorced an abusive father to get her children to safety.

Regnerus tells a ridiculous lie to explain why he had no choice but to make the booby trapped comparison.

He says he simply could not find enough young adult children raised by gay couples.

Yet, Michael Rosenfeld’s 2009 study Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress through School studied 3,502 children of gay couples who had been together for at least five years.

If Regnerus as a professional sociologist truly intended to study children raised by “lesbian mothers” or “gay fathers,” then he had a scientific obligation to develop and to implement a study plan that would actually allow him to interview children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers.

Instead, by his dishonest and unscientific means, and in collusion with his anti-gay-rights funders, Regnerus alleges to have proven a correlation between gay parents and bad child outcomes, though his “study” proves no such correlation.

This is one of the chief fallacies of the Regnerus study: Regnerus alleges to have found a correlation between gay parents and bad child outcomes; but in documentable reality, Regnerus found no such thing.

His test group was loaded up with variables, hence, he has no way of knowing which — if any — of the variables correlates to the perceived “bad” child outcomes, for those in his test group who had “bad” outcomes; not all did, by a long shot. And, not all children of heterosexual parents had good outcomes in the Regnerus study, either.

Yet, NOM officials certainly are getting their money’s worth of gay-bashing hate-and-fear mongering out of the Regnerus “study;” in NOM blog comments on the Brown/Savage event, for example, somebody wrote: “I wonder if the poor kid will have [sic] experience the horrific outcome of same sex parenting that Regenerus found in his research.”

National Organization for Marriage officials, moreover, have been heavily involved in lying about the study since before it was even published.

Here is a sampling of NOM’s Brian Brown’s lies about the Regnerus study:

1) NOM’s BRIAN BROWN LIES ABOUT THE REGNERUS STUDY HAVING BEEN PEER REVIEWED

During a debate with Dan Savage, NOM’s Brian Brown alleged that the Regnerus study was published through the normal procedures followed by Social Science Research (SSR), the journal that published the deliberately booby-trapped, anti-gay Regnerus “study.”

However, SSR did not follow its published Peer Review Policy in processing the Regnerus submission for publication.

Ethical and appropriate, professional peer review is a sine qua non of scientific publishing. There are no exceptions. Without ethical and appropriate, professional peer review, a submission to a scientific journal should never be published. Publishing a submission to a scientific journal without putting it through ethical and appropriate professional peer review undermines trust in science, just as violating campaign finance laws 18 times tends to destroy trust in the organization — NOM — engaging in such contemptuous breaking of campaign finance laws.

Now, according to SSR’s Peer Review Policy, peer reviewers “are matched to papers according to their expertise.”

No gay parenting topic experts peer reviewed the Regnerus submission.

You do not ask a brain surgeon to peer review a podiatry study. You do not ask a podiatrist to to peer review a study on brain surgery. The right topic experts for a study on gay parenting, are gay parenting topic experts.

Additionally, SSR’s Peer Review Policy states that typically, it takes 2 to 3 months for a submission to be peer reviewed “but substantially longer review times are not uncommon, especially for papers on esoteric topics where finding qualified referees can itself take months.”

By contrast to that, Regnerus submitted his paper on February 1, 2012 and then SSR editor-in-chief James Wright approved it for publication just 41 days later, without a single topic expert having been involved in the peer review.

To repeat those facts for emphasis: SSR’s Peer Review Policy says that normally, it takes months just to find qualified peer reviewers. Yet, dismayingly, without being peer reviewed by any topic experts, the Regnerus submission was accepted for publication in just 41 days.

Additionally, some of the peer reviewers were paid consultants for the Regnerus study design. What that means, is that the same people paid to booby trap the study design against gay parents also had the power to green-light the study for publication.

That not only violates SSR’s Peer Review Policy, it violates all ethics of scientific publishing.  Vanderbilt University Sociologist Tony N. Brown, Editor of the American Sociological Association’s American Sociological Review, has said: “journal editors should always seek knowledgeable reviewers who do not have any conflict of interest regarding the submitted author or the study’s funder.” (Bolding added).

While it is true that 1) an SSR editorial board member used 2) the same false words NOM’s Brian Brown used about 3) none of SSR’s policies having been violated, that board member also, obviously 4) is lying, as a comparison of SSR’s Peer Review Policy and the facts of the case demonstrate.

The Regnerus study did not receive ethical and appropriate professional peer review.

NOM’s Brian Brown is lying when he says it did.

Science advances when experiments and studies are replicated and produce the same results. The Regnerus study as published would never survive ethical and appropriate professional peer review; thus, the Regnerus study as published can not possibly be replicated, produce the same results, and be approved as valid by ethical and appropriate professional peer reviewers.

After all, the study features a cherry picked control group compared to a test group loaded up with variables.

Cherry picking a control group is dishonest, a form of lying.

The necessity for eliminating lurking variables — to say nothing of glaring variables —  is taught in every Sociology 101 course and every Statistics 101 course.

2) NOM’s BRIAN BROWN LIES ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE REGNERUS INTERVIEWED

In a June 15, 2012 NOM blog post with the comically dubious title of The Big Mo for Marriage, NOM’s Brian Brown lied by saying “The researchers interviewed more than 15,000 people.” (Bolding added).

As a glance at Regnerus’s Codebook shows, Regnerus screened 15,058 people, but only actually interviewed a total of  2,988 survey participants.

In a sociological study, screening consists of asking people a few questions to see whether they qualify for you to interview them. Interviewing them consists of having them answer all the questions in your full study survey.

Screening and interviewing are two completely different sociological activities.

Brown’s misrepresentation of how many people Regnerus interviewed fits a pattern of Witherspoon/NOM/Regnerus lies that seek to impress the public by representing Regnerus’s study as having been larger than it in fact was.

Here is why this is so important a matter.

Regnerus alleges that his study results are statistically accurate for the entire US population. That is to say, were Regnerus telling the truth, whatever his findings show as percent findings for any group, would consistently be the percent findings for that group throughout the country.

However, Regnerus only surveyed a total of 248 children of “gay” parents. At that, his labeling of study subjects’ parents as “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” was unscientific and unethical.

Leaving aside Regnerus’s labeling ethics, what about his numbers? Can one produce a statistically reliable study with only 248 children of gay parents?

Dr. Steven Nock, an expert in large random sampling survey studies, was asked by the Canadian Attorney General to submit an affidavit in Halpern v. Canada.

According to Dr. Nock’s affidavit, for a gay parenting study to be statistically valid, a minimum of 800 gay parents would have to be included in the study. Nock estimates that to find 800 gay parents to interview, a researcher would have to screen at least 40,000 people. And, Nock said that screening 40,000 people is “not a particularly large screening task.”

Yet, there is the NOM shill Regnerus, alleging that he carried out an unprecedentedly enormous study, and his NOM co-conspirator Brian Brown lying about how many people the Regnerus study interviewed.

To clarify — NOM’s Brian Brown is boasting that Regnerus “interviewed” 15,000 people yet could not find people actually raised by gay parents. NOM’s Brian Brown talks about the 15,000 Regnerus screened, as though Regnerus had carried out some unimaginably huge task. Yet the expert Dr. Steven Nock says that in order to find enough gay parents for a study, one would have to screen at least 40,000 people. Regnerus screened 25,000 people too few, to meet Dr. Nock’s estimated minimum of people who had to be screened, for enough gay parents to be represented in a valid gay parenting study based on a large random sampling.

Now, by way of comparison, let’s look at how many people were interviewed for actual large studies.

In 2011, the Pew Research Center conducted a large national random sample survey of Muslims living in the United States. Pew interviewed — not screened — interviewed — 55,000 people, of which 1,050 were Muslims in the United States.

The comparison:

Pew interviewed:
55,000 people, of which 1,050 were the study’s test group, Muslims living in the US.

By contrast, Regnerus interviewed:
only 2,988 people, of which 248 were the study’s test group, children of “same-sex” parents.

Another comparison with an actual large study:

In 2005, a large random sample survey was done in India on the prevalence of major neurological disorders in Kolkata.

The comparison:

Indian researchers interviewed:                       52,377 people
Regnerus interviewed:                                             2,988 people

Another comparison with an actual large study:

A study on tobacco smokers in Brazil interviewed — not screened — interviewed 8589 people.

The comparison:

Brazilian researchers interviewed: 8589 people.
Regnerus interviewed:                          2,988 people.

Whereas Regnerus only interviewed 2,988 people, NOM’s Brian Brown lies by saying that Regnerus interviewed “over 15,000 people.”

These things matter. If Regnerus needed more money from his NOM-linked funders in order to be able to interview an adequate number of children of actual same-sex parents, then Regnerus should have insisted on more money from his NOM-linked funders.

Whereas his NOM-linked funders are said to have given Regnerus $785,000 for his booby-trapped study, they are spending  — and/or involved in the arrangements for spending — tens upon tens of millions attacking gay people, their families and their rights in the 2012 elections.

It is not that Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders could not have come up with enough money for a study that would interview adequate numbers of children raised by same-sex couples.

It is, rather, that NOM officials wanted an anti-gay demonizing weapon for the 2012 election season.

The matter of the number of persons Regnerus interviewed is related to another of Brian Brown’s lies about the Regnerus study, namely:

3) NOM’s BRIAN BROWN LIES ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE REGNERUS STUDY TO OTHER GAY PARENTING STUDIES

The Regnerus study was twinned in publication in Social Science Research to another study by the professional gay-basher Loren Marks. Marks’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees were earned from Brigham Young University, a school with an “honor code” that forbids school community members from “promoting” homosexual relations as being morally acceptable.

Previously, when NOM attempted to use Marks as an “expert witness” in a Proposition 8 case, Marks’s “expert” testimony was barred from the courtroom after Marks was questioned, and admitted that he had not read studies from which he quoted, and that he did not know anything about gay-led families.

The Marks paper — twinned in publication to the Regnerus paper — argues that all prior studies on same-sex parents’ child outcomes were based on small samplings that are not statistically generalizable to the whole population.

Conspicuously, the Marks paper was twinned in publication with the Regnerus paper, to bolster the fraudulent propaganda claims that the Regnerus study actually consists of a large enough sampling to be statistically generalizable to the whole population.

To put the argument in its most simple terms, Marks says “Small studies bad, big studies good.” In his Big Mo post, Brian Brown exploits the Marks study to beat the “Small studies bad, big studies good” horse, in an attempt to delude the public into believing that the Regnerus study was large enough to give meaningful results about children raised by gay parents.

But the Regnerus study was not large enough to give meaningful results about children raised by gay parents.

When NOM’s Brian Brown trots out the Marks paper to propagandize about the Regnerus study being large enough, when the Regnerus study was not large enough, NOM’s Brian Brown is lying about the scientific significance of the number of study subjects Regnerus interviewed.

Remember: Regnerus only interviewed 2,988 total people. The study of Brazilian smokers interviewed 8,589 people. The study of the prevalence of neurological disorders in India interviewed 52,377 people. The Pew study of Muslims living in the US interviewed 55,000 people.

To carry out a valid study of gay parents’ child outcomes, Regnerus needed to screen and then interview a lot more people than he did.

All of NOM’s Brian Brown’s statements that the Regnerus study was large enough are lies.

4) NOM’s BRIAN BROWN LIES ABOUT WHETHER REGNERUS’S STUDY SUBJECTS LIVED WITH “LESBIAN MOTHERS”

In his “Big Mo” NOM blog post, Brian Brown says this:

“91 percent lived with their mothers while she had this” same-sex “romantic relationship. But most of these relationships turned out to be fleeting.”

In truth, the Regnerus study methodology did not allow Regnerus to determine whether his study respondents’ parents ever actually had a “same sex romantic relationship.”

Eight major professional associations including the American Medical Association filed a Golinski-DOMA brief.

Writing in that brief, the AMA noted that Regnerus’s “data does not show whether the perceived” same-sex “romantic relationship ever in fact occurred.”

When a group of over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent a letter to Social Science Research, complaining about the Regnerus study’s lack of intellectual integrity, they said “We have substantial concerns about the merits of this paper and question whether it actually uses methods and instruments that answer the research questions posed in the paper.”

Who are you going to believe on science? Eight major professional associations including the AMA, and over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s, or NOM’s lying anti-gay president Brian Brown, whose organization’s leaders arranged for the funding of the Regnerus study and are promoting it heavily in anti-gay-rights political contexts?

Given that Regnerus’s “data does not show whether the perceived romantic relationship ever in fact occurred,” Brian Brown is lying when he says that 91 percent of Regnerus’s study respondents “lived with their mothers while she had this” same-sex “romantic relationship.”

In promoting the Regnerus study in anti-gay-rights political contexts, Regnerus and NOM rely heavily on public ignorance about sociology. One false notion they especially push, is that gosh darn it, it’s just too difficult to ask meaningful questions towards determining the actual sexual orientation of a study subject’s parent. Regnerus could not possibly have done a more scientific job determining his respondents’ parents’ sexual orientation, because nobody knows how to do that! The whole field of studying gay parents is in too early a stage!

Yet, in 2009, the Williams Institute published its study titled Best Practices for Asking Questions about Sexual Orientation on Surveys. Regnerus worked as though in ignorance of that document.

5) NOM’s BRIAN BROWN LIES ABOUT HAVING RESPECT FOR SCIENCE

After saying that he is not a social scientist, Brian Brown says “I respect the scientific enterprise enough to wish for open, robust scientific debate.”

Notice what Brown is doing with this particular lie; he is creating a false impression that there are scientific grounds for debating whether a parent’s sexual orientation,  heterosexual or homosexual, per se, correlates to or causes a good or bad child outcome.

There currently is no scientific debate about whether a parent’s sexual orientation,  heterosexual or homosexual, per se, correlates to or causes a good or bad child outcome.

All available scientific evidence shows that nothing about a parent’s sexual orientation, per se, impacts child outcomes.

That means, it can be legitimate to suggest that more studies might be done to examine whether a parent’s sexual orientation,  heterosexual or homosexual, per se, correlates to or causes a good or bad child outcome.

But, there is no scientific basis for debating whether a parent’s sexual orientation,  heterosexual or homosexual, per se, correlates to or causes a good or bad child outcome. And that is because, there is no scientific evidence that a parent’s sexual orientation, per se, correlates to or causes a child outcome good or bad.

Genuine scientific debate does not — and could not possibly — occur as a result of NOM/Witherspoon’s Robert George getting a $55,000 “planning grant” for Mark Regnerus, with Mark Regnerus then presenting a booby trapped study design to Robert George in order to get green-lighted for $785,000 of study funding. Distortions of the scientific record never are involved in legitimate, actual scientific debate over scientific interpretation of study findings.

Even NOM’s Brian Brown admits there is no scientific basis for saying that a parent’s sexual orientation correlates to or causes a child outcome good or bad. Look what Brown said in his Big Mo post:

“Does this new study prove gay parents harm their children? No.  . . . We still can’t say that from scientific evidence because we don’t have good data.”

Yet immediately, Brown goes on to say that the Marks and Regnerus studies “show us the claim that science has disproven and ruled out of court the idea that children need a mom and dad is just bogus.”

Much like Maggie Gallagher, NOM’s Brian Brown lies through his teeth while talking out both sides of his gay-bashing bigot mouth. First he admits that the Regnerus study did not prove that gay parents harm children, then he says that all children “need” heterosexual parents. He has no explanation for why an adopted child, for example, would “need” abusive heterosexual parents but not loving gay parents.

And why are so many children up for adoption? In many cases, children are up for adoption because their heterosexual parents neglected, abused or abandoned them.

If NOM’s Brian Brown had respect for science, he would not base any of his gay-bashing newsletters on “findings” from a booby trapped study that had loaded up its test group with variables.

To specify what is meant: if a person was raised by a single lesbian mother, who also was paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair, and who was living in poverty, that mother’s child’s “bad” outcomes could as well correlate to the mother’s poverty, or to her being a single disabled mother, as to her being lesbian. When a test group is loaded up with variables, there simply is no way of knowing which of the variables might correlate to — or have caused — the “bad” outcomes.

6) NOM’s BRIAN BROWN IS LYING WHEN HE SAYS HE IS CONCERNED WITH CHILD WELFARE

NOM is interested in political gay-bashing and restricting gay people’s rights, and not in the least in child welfare.

For one example that that is so: most children in the foster care system are there because irresponsible heterosexual parents neglected, abused or abandoned them.

And, many children have been rescued from the foster care system by gay adoptive parents who have given them safe and loving families and homes.

Yet, NOM’s lying anti-gay bigots want those gay-headed families stigmatized and legally disadvantaged — no matter the harm that NOM”s gay-bashing bigotry inflicts on the children the gay parents are raising.

Here is a second example of NOM not giving a damn about child welfare. A 2-year-old boy lost his heterosexual parents to an accident. His gay uncle and the uncle’s male spouse were at the hospital the day the baby was born, and love him very much. His parents had named the married gay uncles as the boy’s guardians, should anything happen to them. Now, that boy is being raised by his loving uncles, instead of having to be placed in an orphanage or in the foster care system.

Who but a malicious anti-gay bigot would say that that boy and his family should be stigmatized and legally disadvantaged?

To read the gay-bashing NOM pledge signed by Mitt Romney that would stigmatize and legally disadvantage that family, go here.

And remember: The National Organization for Marriage recently admitted to guilt in 18 counts of California state campaign finance law violations.

For breaking the law eighteen times, NOM in California had to pay a $49,000 fine.

That NOM authorities have to commission a booby trapped “study” and then promote the booby-trapped study with lie after lie after lie — in their attempts to perpetuate the sexual orientation apartheid system — shows that NOM is losing the argument. Bigots have used distortions of the scientific record as weapons against minorities in the American past, yet all such past American minority victims wound up gaining their civil rights on a national level.

The lying, malicious, campaign-finance-law-breaking anti-gay bigots of NOM will not prevent LGBTers from achieving equality.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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‘Poisonous’: Former Advisor Says Republicans Have ‘Just Switched Trump Off in Their Brain’

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In an interview with The Guardian, one of Donald Trump’s former senior advisers stated that the word he is getting from people he has spoken to is that they want the former president to be put out to pasture after the poor midterm election results for Republicans weeks ago.

According to John Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser, it’s time for the GOP to move on from the former president if the party wants to reclaim the Oval Office in 2024.

Bolton, whose tenure serving under Trump ended acrimoniously, told the Guardian’s David Smith that there are a multitude of reasons to put Trump in the rearview mirror, but the impact that the former president had on GOP fortunes in the midterms seems to be the final straw with many conservatives.

“There are a lot of reasons to be against Trump being the nominee but the one I’m hearing now as I call around the country, talking to my supporters and others about what happened on 8 November, is the number of people who have just switched Trump off in their brain,” Bolton explained.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump’s new Mar-a-Lago scandal proves why aides want him to stick to a teleprompter

Elaborating, he continued, “Even if they loved his style, loved his approach, loved his policies, loved everything about him, they don’t want to lose and the fear is, given the results on 8 November, that if he got the nomination, not only would he lose the general election, but he would take an awful lot of Republican candidates down with him.”

“There’s no doubt Trump’s endorsement in the primary can be very valuable to a candidate in the Republican party. But relying on that endorsement or trumpeting yourself as the Trump-endorsed candidate is poisonous in the general election. So if you actually want to win elections, Trump is not the answer,” Bolton continued. “William F Buckley [the conservative author] once had a rule that in Republican primaries he supported the most conservative candidate capable of winning the general election and, under that theory, Trump loses.”

The Guardian’s Smith notes that Bolton “… joins Trump’s vice-president Mike Pence, secretary of state Mike Pompeo, attorney general William Barr, UN ambassador Nikki Haley, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and onetime ally Chris Christie in a growing rebellion among alumni making the case – overtly or subtly – that Trump has become an electoral liability.”

You can read more here.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Dinner With Kanye Also Included a Former Aide Accused in Pay-for-Pardon Play, and White Supremacist Fuentes

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Donald Trump‘s dinner earlier this week with antisemite Kanye West and holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes may also have included two other right-wingers, hinted at by the former president himself.

After Axios‘ reporting confirmed that Fuentes had in fact had dinner with Trump, Trump issued a statement saying, “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

But later, on Friday afternoon via his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote a defense of the dinner with an expanded guest list.

READ MORE: Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago

“This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump wrote. “Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.”

As The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman noted, Trump did not denounce his guest’s extremist beliefs.

“Three of his friends,” according to the far-right wing website Breitbart, apparently includes Fuentes, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, and former Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno.

Breitbart states, “two people who say they were at the dinner on Tuesday evening–Yiannopoulos and onetime Trump aide Karen Giorno–have publicly stated that Fuentes was in fact at the dinner with West and Trump.”

“’Nick attended the dinner and sat across from the president. I sat to the president’s right and Ye to his left,’ Giorno said in a statement to podcaster Tim Poole’s website Timcast,” Breitbart reports. “‘The president was by himself for dinner but invited Ye to meet some people on the patio.'”

Politico reports Giorno “confirmed to Politico that she was also at the dinner with Trump, West and Fuentes,” but does not mention Yiannopoulos as a dinner guest.

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Referring to Kanye West by his new name, VICE News adds: “Ye, who has been been on an antisemitic spiral in recent months, announced he is going to be running for president in 2024, and Yiannopoulos is his campaign manager. He claimed that he asked the former president to run with him as his vice-president. According to Ye, the dinner involving the billionaire, the rapper, and the white nationalist devolved into screaming and derogatory epithets.”

Yiannopoulos is the former Breitbart editor who became disgraced after saying, “I think in the gay world some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men.” Earlier this year U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene came under fire for hiring, as an intern, Yiannopoulos, even after he appeared to support sexual “relationships” between boys as young as 13 and older men.

Karen Giorno, The New York Times reported early last year, “had access to people around the president, having run Mr. Trump’s campaign in Florida during the 2016 primary and remaining on board as a senior political adviser during the general election.”

“In July 2018, Ms. Giorno signed an agreement with Mr. Kiriakou, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, ‘to seek a full pardon from President Donald Trump of his conviction’ for $50,000 and promised another $50,000 as a bonus if she secured a pardon,” The Times reports.

Kiriakou is John Kiriakou, who The Times identifies as “a former C.I.A. officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information.”

On what appears to be her Instagram page, Giorno has photos of herself with numerous Republicans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Flynn, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida attorney general Ashley Moody and several other top Florida elected officials, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, and Sarah Palin, among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago

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Donald Trump and Kanye West had dinner at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night and the disgraced artist who goes by “Ye” brought a guest, the white supremacist, antisemite and “America First” and “Big Lie” purveyor Nick Fuentes. Now the former president is claiming Fuentes was a guest of West, and he knows “nothing” about him.

“Trump’s direct engagement with a man labeled a ‘white supremacist’ by the Justice Department, one week after declaring his 2024 candidacy, is likely to draw renewed outrage over the former president’s embrace of extremists,” Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu report.

Axios notes that in a video West posted to his recently restored Twitter account, he says, “Trump was ‘really impressed’ with Fuentes because ‘unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist.'”

“Ye, who has lost major sponsorships over his anti-Semitism and recent far-right associations, has said he wants to run for president in 2024,” Axios adds. “The rapper claims Trump started ‘screaming’ at him at the dinner and told him he would lose — ‘most perturbed’ by Ye asking Trump to be his running mate.”

READ MORE: Watch: Chasten Buttigieg Says Tucker Carlson Is Focusing on ‘Hate’ After Host’s Latest Anti-Gay Attack on His Husband

Swan says Trump issued a statement in response to his reporting, claiming he does not know Fuentes.

“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump’s statement says, an apparent attempt to minimize his dining with two racists and antisemites. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”

The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman observes that Trump’s “statement does nothing to denounce that background, including Holocaust denialism, or even acknowledge it.”

Trump first claiming West just wanted to see Mar-a-Lago, but immediately after calling it a “meeting” is notable, given that West has since suggested he is running for president.

Axios importantly adds that “Fuentes first gained notoriety after attending the white supremacist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in 2017,” and, “Trump was heavily criticized at the time for his response to the racist violence.”

Journalist Jeff Sharlet is the executive producer of Netflix’s “The Family,” based on his books that exposed the secretive Christian right organization of the same name. The Family, also called The Fellowship, hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Its members were involved in Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.

Sharlet warns this is an “inflection point.”

“Trump dinner with Ye, at this point, is a major story,” Sharlet tweeted. “But with Nick Fuentes? That’s an inflection point even for a former president already committed to fascism.”

Journalist and activist Elad Nehorai tweeted: “Never let a single right winger or Republican claim they care about Jews after this. Fuentes openly praises Hitler. He is a Holocaust denier. He is one of the US’s most dangerous white nationalists. Trump hosted him & not one Republican had said a word.”

Attorney and former Republican Ron Filipkowski, who tracks and reports on right wing extremism, says Trump’s statement “reminds me of the time when Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was in the WH in Dec 2020 and said he was just there to check out the Christmas decorations.”

Tarrio told ABC News last year he “got invited to the White House Christmas decorations tour through ‘Latinos For Trump.'”

READ MORE: ‘Standard Bearer of Trumpism’ Marjorie Taylor Greene Bridges White Nationalism and the GOP

Top national security attorney Brad Moss mocked Trump’s claim about the Mar-a-Lago dinner.

“Trump legal team: MAL is a totally secure place where we can be trusted to store classified records,” he tweeted. “Trump PR team: Security at MAL is so lax that a raving white supremacist can just crash Trump’s dinner party with Ye.”

Indeed, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman commented, “It’s not the central issue with meeting with Fuentes, but the fact that people can show up unvetted and meet with Trump at his club is part of what alarmed the DOJ about his retention of government records, including classified material, when he left office.”

She also posted a screenshot from her book, relevant to Trump’s embrace of the two racists and antisemites. She quotes him saying, “A lot of these people vote,” in relation to “Trump’s refusal to condemn David Duke’s support forcefully in early 2016.”

The AntiDefamation League (ADL) in a 2021 report wrote, “Nicholas Fuentes is a white supremacist leader and organizer and podcaster who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP.”

Some of Fuentes’ antisemitism has been documented by ADL.

READ MORE: House GOP Whip Denies ‘Knowing Anything About’ Republican Congressman Fundraising With Antisemitic White Nationalist

“Fuentes has made a number of racist and antisemitic comments under the guise of being provocative and ironic,” ADLs report states. “For example, he has referred to Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh as ‘shabbos goy race traitor’ because he works for Jews (Ben Shapiro, a Jewish conservative, runs the Daily Wire). On a livestream episode, Fuentes ‘jokingly’ denied the Holocaust and compared Jews burnt in concentration camps to cookies in an oven. On May 24, 2021, Fuentes participated in a debate on right-wing conspiracist Alex Jones’ InfoWars with Robert Barnes, a man described as a ‘constitutional lawyer’ who has legally defended both Jones and Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. During the debate, Fuentes made numerous antisemitic remarks, including, ‘I don’t see Jews as Europeans and I don’t see them as part of Western civilization, particularly because they are not Christians.'”

Fuentes is strongly pro-Trump, as West alluded to.

“Fuentes promoted election fraud narratives and encouraged his adherents to participate in nationwide ‘Stop the Steal’ protests,” according to ADL.

 

This article has been updated to include Jeff Sharlet’s remarks.

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