A former Republican operative with connections to prominent white nationalist figures has reportedly been published in numerous well-known publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Forbes. According to BuzzFeed News, Marcus Epstein—a former staffer for ex-Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo—has written more than a dozen pieces in prominent publications under the name “Mark Epstein.” Before becoming an opinion contributor to these publications, Epstein reportedly wrote for the white nationalist site VDare and was charged with assaulting a black woman in 2007. He also started the Robert A. Taft Club alongside white nationalists Richard Spencer and Kevin DeAnna, and helped run the “Youth for Western Civilization” student group, according to BuzzFeed.
In a statement to BuzzFeed, Epstein said he changed his name in order to get past the “media-internet driven outrage culture” and his past actions—which he attributes to alcohol problems during and after college. “I submitted these articles under this name, with an accurate bio, and which expressed my honest opinions,” he said. Epstein also denied ever holding white nationalist beliefs, citing his own “Jewish and Asian descent.”
The Journal reportedly declined to say if it had looked into his history, claiming they only knew him as an “antitrust attorney” with writing experience. The Hill told BuzzFeed the editor who published Epstein’s work has since left, and they did “not know what vetting he performed at the time.” Forbes said Epstein had appeared as a co-author “without permission” on a piece penned by another contributor.