The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement Tuesday condemning “all forms of violent extremism” after leaked emails obtained by The Atlantic reportedly showed a former official exchanging messages with white nationalists. The official, Ian M. Smith, a former policy analyst, told the publication he is no longer employed at DHS “as of last week.” Smith reportedly resigned just days before emails surfaced showing him in contact with well-known alt-right figures, including Richard Spencer and “white advocate” Jared Taylor, the founder of American Renaissance, according to the report. The emails reportedly focused on several events being planned by white-nationalist groups, and one source cited by The Atlantic said Smith attended at least one of the events in question—an “Alt-Right Toastmasters” meeting in June 2016 arranged by white nationalist Marcus Epstein. Epstein entered an Alford plea in 2009 for assaulting a black woman. Smith told The Atlantic he did not attend any events listed in the emails but did not dispute that he was in contact with the white nationalists in question.
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