‘Whiter Every Election Cycle’: How Identity Evropa, a Far-Right Hate Group, Joined the GOP
According to leaked chat logs, the white-supremacist group has actively reinvented itself as a ‘respectable’ group in order to entice Republicans.
The white nationalist group Identity Evropa is so cozy with the Republican Party that members led their College Republican clubs and campaigned in support of GOP congressional candidates.
At least one Identity Evropa fan, who is not a member of the group, attended CPAC last weekend where he demanded an autograph from a leftist podcaster who, tripping on acid, signed the book “eat shit.”
Identity Evropa is a fascist organization. Its members have been involved in violent street brawls, including 2017’s deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. While other white supremacist organizations imploded after the rally, Identity Evropa attempted to cast aside the alt-right’s tarnished image and rebrand as a “clean-cut” organization. The makeover was an attempt to appeal to the mainstream Republican Party, according to chat logs released Wednesday by the media collective Unicorn Riot.
But despite its new face, the group stayed true to its fascist heart, the leaked conversations reveal.
The chat group’s name was an ironic nod at the image Identity Evropa tries to present to outsiders: “Nice Respectable People Group.” The image landed the white supremacist group a softball interview with the Today Show last year. Privately, Identity Evropa members celebrated the interview as a recruitment driver, the leaked chat logs reveal.
“Can we send a bouquet of flowers and a ‘thank you from Identity Evropa’ card to the ‘TODAY Show’?” one group member wrote in a message first flagged by Media Matters researcher Madeline Peltz. “I feel like we owe them something after so many applications today.”
The racist group wasn’t just pandering to the media. Members were also encouraged to get involved with their local Republican parties, Splinter first reported.
“Identity Evropa leadership strongly encourages our members to get involved in local politics. We’ve been pushing this for a while, but haven’t seen much of it happening,” leader Patrick Casey wrote in an Oct. 2017 message. “Today I decided to get involved in my county’s Republican party. Everyone can do this without fear of getting doxxed. The GOP is essentially the White man’s party at this point (it gets Whiter every election cycle), so it makes far more sense for us to subvert it than to create our own party.”
Months later, Identity Evropa member and Charlottesville marcher James Allsup quietly won an uncontested seat in his local Republican party, The Daily Beast first reported. After months of hedging by local Republican leaders who likened Allsup to a lynching victim, the local party ejected him in January.
But other Identity Evropa members have stayed close to the Republican Party. One member who described himself in October as having “an interview for a political job coming up. Anyone know any good inside sources for political news? I can't say my main news source is [fascist podcast] Fash the Nation.” (Elsewhere in the chat, he posted racist and anti-Semitic attacks.)
The member used the screen name “Logan” and shared links to his now-defunct website, which he registered under the name, Logan Piercy. He described “door knocking” on behalf of Republican candidates in Montana during the 2018 congressional primaries. Piercy did not return The Daily Beast’s Thursday request for comment at the email address used to register his website.
Racists who didn’t campaign on the ground instead pushed for their favorite Republicans from afar. In September, when Rep. Steve King was under fire for being a white supremacist, Casey ordered the group to call then-House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy to voice support for King, HuffPost first reported.
“Got through on the 202 number,” one member wrote. “Thanked lady for taking my call, identified myself as a member of a young conservationist Republican group that supports Congressman Steve King.”
Others bragged of donating money to King, and dreamed about getting him to interact with their Twitter account, as he has with other white supremacists.
Younger members described themselves as being members of College Republicans clubs.
“I’m an officer in my college republicans. I’m sure many other IE members are. It’s easy to infiltrate low level GOP stuff if you just show up,” one Identity Evropa member said in September, adding that he hoped to convert two members of his club. He also described modeling the club after Identity Evropa.
“[That feeling when] I’m making rules for my college republicans based on the IE guidelines and it makes me look like the responsible moderate,” he wrote.
“Join college republicans if you haven’t already,” another urged his fellow white supremacists.
“Dude I joined college republicans and a day later I had a 30 minute conversation with the most right wing populist candidate on the east coast,” another wrote.
A fourth Identity Evropa member mulled “starting a chapter” of College Republicans at his school.
Identity Evropa is far from the only far-right group making eyes at the GOP. Conservative youth darling Turning Point USA is reportedly rife with racism, as its former national field director allegedly texted another employee that “I hate all black people. Like fuck them all… I hate blacks. End of story.” The Proud Boys, an ultra-nationalist brawling group, have posed with Republican politicians and acted as a security service for Roger Stone.
Unicorn Riot’s Wednesday leaks also included chat logs from groups dedicated to a podcast by Allsup and his colleague Nick Fuentes, and logs for a chat group specifically for Fuentes fans.
Fuentes was at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where he posed with Brexit architect Nigel Farage. An apparent admirer of Identity Evropa who was active in Fuentes group chat was also in attendance. The young man, who posted under the screen name Simon Scola, lamented in Fuentes’ group chat that Identity Evropa’s Massachusetts “twitter page is dead and i doubt they have many people.” Elsewhere in the chat he posted an Identity Evropa sticker, which he bought at a racist conference.
Though Scola wrote about his fears of having his identity exposed, he revealed himself to the hosts of socialist podcast Chapo Trap House, who were attending CPAC with media passes.
In a Monday episode, Chapo host Will Menaker described a young man running up to them with a copy of pundit Ben Shapiro’s book while Chapo co-host Matt Christman was tripping on acid. “He was like, ‘sign my book! Sign my book for me!’” Menaker said. “And Matt actually did sign it, ‘eat shit.’”
Shortly after the encounter, Scola proudly tweeted a picture of the Shapiro book, with “eat shit” scribbled on the front page.
“The kid whose book I signed was a ratty little dude with bad facial hair,” Christman told The Daily Beast.