It was supposed to be a celebration.
“There will be many inaugural balls, but there will be nothing like our DEPLORABALL party—our massive, 1,000-person extravaganza to celebrate the inauguration of President-Elect Trump,” the official page for the event reads. “Attendees include Trump supporters of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and walks of life, from all over the country and world. This is a ‘big tent’ event for Trump supporters.”
Organizers of the bash heralded the nascent gathering as a sold-out success—even though they had to switch locations recently. They had won and liberals had lost and as Trump himself descends on the nation’s capital to be inaugurated as the 45th president, it was time to pop Champagne.
Until a public spat revealed rifts in the ideologies and goals of those involved.
The trouble began, according to Mike Cernovich (a popular and controversial figure in online pro-Trump circles), when Tim Treadstone, who goes by @BakedAlaska on Twitter, posted some messages with anti-Semitic sentiments last week. In one example, which has since been deleted, Treadstone reacted to Matt Lasner, a professor who allegedly accosted Ivanka Trump on a flight last week, by referring to him with homophobic language and veiled anti-Semitic symbolism.
The three parentheses in the tweet are often used to signify an individual’s Judaism.
“I told him this wasn’t appropriate and to knock it off,” Cernovich told The Daily Beast in a direct message on Twitter. “He said he would.” But according to Cernovich, Treadstone didn’t stop there and he was made a persona non grata at the event they worked on together.
When asked why he didn’t want Treadstone at the event, Cernovich said: “He’s an unstable guy desperate to do anything for e-fame. Couldn’t have him around me dragging others down with him.”
Cernovich himself has previously come under fire for, among other things, tweeting that “Date rape does not exist” and baselessly accusing comedian Vic Berger of being a pedophile.
It all came to a head Monday night when Treadstone tweeted a screenshot of a direct-message conversation with MAGA-3X organizers in which fellow organizer Cernovich was scolding him.
“You can thank Mike @Cernovich for banning me from my own event for tweets,” Treadstone wrote. “He seems to really care what the media thinks rather than his own.”
This cannibalization of what was once a united pro-Trump front is indicative of a larger fight going on within the movement. Self-described “Trumpists” who organized the event are defending Treadstone’s ban by saying they want to create an inclusive celebration—one which doesn’t host people who make anti-Semitic remarks. They don’t want another scenario like the recent alt-right gathering in Washington that made headlines for literal Nazi salutes. Meanwhile, figures in the alt-right, like the notorious white nationalist Richard Spencer, are defending Treadstone and calling Cernovich the “Alt-Light,” or ego-driven individuals who are more interested in furthering their personal brands than focusing on ideology.
Treadstone, who sports stringy dyed-blond hair and a beard, has changed up his brand more than once, with a storied and opportunistic career online as a supporter of Black Lives Matter, an aspiring rapper, and even a BuzzFeed employee. According to an organizer with MAGA-3X, he was also the previous manager of the bullying bleach-blond tantrum-starter Milo Yiannopoulos, who as The Daily Beast previously reported, was heading up a scam operation intended to give money to white underprivileged males. It’s unclear just exactly how or when Treadstone had a change of heart but he went on to work on a number of pro-Trump projects with MAGA-3X including, according to an organizer, putting together public “flash mobs.”
As the online spat simmered, Cernovich and Treadstone attempted to settle the score in the most civil way possible: dueling Periscopes. In a now-deleted live broadcast from Cernovich, he accused Treadstone of being a drug addict and called him a “disgruntled employee.” And Treadstone took control of the @MAGA3X Twitter account and called Cernovich a “major cuck.”
To add to this catty fight between what these respective parties are now referring to as the “Alt-Right” and the “Alt-Light,” Treadstone took major issue with the person who was invited to attend in his place: none other than Yiannopoulos himself.
In a tweet Monday night, Treadstone shared a screenshot of a purported text from Yiannopoulos in which the previous Breitbart employee appeared to be threatening him with legal action. Treadstone also shared a screenshot of an email which appears to show Yiannopoulos saying he would not attend the event unless he is the headliner. Yiannopoulos did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. An organizer for the event told The Daily Beast that after a falling out, Yiannopoulos did not want to attend the event if Treadstone would also be present.
These kinds of squabbles are typical of squishy revolutionaries, said Spencer, who has earned global condemnation for his hardline racist views.
“The ‘Alt-Light’ faces a major problem,” Spencer wrote in an email to The Daily Beast. “People like Mike Cernovich and Milo don’t have an ideology; they don’t even really have policies that you can point to. They are Trump fans, who are vaguely conservative and a bit neocon-ish. They don’t like feminists and SJWs (social justice warriors); in other words, they pick the low-hanging fruit.
“The Alt-Light has also hitched its wagon to ‘free speech,’” he continued. “The catch is, there’s clearly some free speech they don’t like, particularly regarding race and Jewish activism and influence. In order for the Alt-Light to maintain its current position—playing footsie with the real alt-right and playing footsie with establishment conservatives—they are going to have to engage in thought-policing and disavows.”
Spencer said he supports Treadstone attending the Deplora-Ball but he himself will not be going.
An organizer of the event told The Daily Beast that he wasn’t specifically against either of the two men but that the inaugural ball was never intended to be for the alt-right alone.
“The press is perceiving it as an alt-right Nazi event,” he said in a phone conversation with The Daily Beast. “The alt-right is criticizing us for being what they call ‘cucked’ and wanting this to be a big tent and constructive for Trump and all Americans.
“The subtext here is that Trumpists and the alt-right are having a bad breakup,” he added.
After this fracas spilled out into the open, he’s concerned about “people in the alt-right who want to go there and ‘Sieg Heil’ and sabotage the event.”
But for now, at least Cernovich is just pleased that he gave Treadstone the cold shoulder.
“Glad to have the trash out of my life,” Cernovich told The Daily Beast.