If you’re like me, you went “who?” Yet another nasty group of people, who revel in extremism, and one I had not heard of before. As it turns out, two Trump henchpersons have not only heard of it, they are part of it. How surprising, right?
According to an SPLC statement, Breitbart.com CEO Stephen Bannon and pollster Kellyanne Conway — hired as Trump 2016’s CEO and campaign manager, respectively — are members of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a highly secretive group that includes a roster of controversial white supremacists and rightwing agitators.
“The CNP is not controversial so much for the conservatives who dominate it — activists of the religious right and the so-called ‘culture wars,’ along with a smattering of wealthy financiers, Congressional operatives, right-wing consultants and Tea Party operatives — as for the many real extremists who are included,” wrote SPLC senior fellow Mark Potok.
The SPLC was able to obtain the CNP’s closely-guarded 2014 membership directory and found that it included “people like Michael Peroutka, a neo-Confederate who for years was on the board of the white supremacist League of the South; Jerome Corsi, a strident Obama ‘birther’ and the propagandist hit man responsible for the ‘Swift boating’ of John Kerry; Joseph Farah, who runs the wildly conspiracist “news” operation known as WorldNetDaily; Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel leader who has worked to re-criminalize gay sex; Philip Zodhaites, another anti-gay activist who is charged with helping a self-described former lesbian who kidnapped her daughter from her former partner and fled the country; and a large number of other similar characters.”
Conway and Bannon’s names both appear on the CNP’s 2014 membership roster. The SPLC was unable to determine their current membership status.
The Center noted that the CNP has every right to keep its membership secret, but the membership roster opens a window on how purportedly moderate Republicans meet and network with right-wing extremists in formulating their policy agenda and crafting legislation.
The CNP roster of members includes “real extremists, people who regularly defame LGBT people with utter falsehoods, describe Latino immigrants as a dangerous group of rapists and disease-carriers, engage in the kind of wild-eyed conspiracy theorizing for which the John Birch Society is famous, and even suggest that certain people should be stoned to death in line with Old Testament law,” the SPLC said.
Well. That’s terrifying. These are the people the so-called not completely batshit repubs are networking with, and we are now living in interesting times, with the rise of white nationalism and open bigotry. I think I could have lived without this particular knowledge, but it’s best to as knowledgeable as possible these days.
Via Raw Story.