A Republican congressman invited an internet troll and well-known member of the white supremacist Alt-Right to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday as his guest.
Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida — a recent guest on Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory showInfowars — said he invited Chuck Johnson to the address when he “showed up at my office” on Tuesday, the Daily Beast reported on Wednesday.
A founder of several far right-wing websites, Johnson now runs a crowdfunding site that raised thousands of dollars for Andrew Anglin’s — the publisher of neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer — legal fees in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU. Johnson has also expressed neo-Nazi beliefs, including that the number of dead during the Holocaust is much lower than reported and doubts that gas chambers were used in concentration camps.
"Chuck Johnson tells me he was Rep. Matt Gaetz's State of the Union guest."
Holocaust Denier Chuck Johnson that:
– flashes White Power sign with his Nazi Bro Richard Spencer & Geert Wilders
– visits Assange with Rohrabacher
– happily poses with Trayvon murderer Zimmerman pic.twitter.com/2XGMFWNY8d
— Lard of Dorkness (@LardFDorkness) January 31, 2018
Johnson was banned from Twitter in 2015 for soliciting donations to “take out” Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson.
Equally disturbing is that Johnson reportedly served as an advisor to Trump’s transition team
Johnson often makes false and misleading claims about politicians, crime victims and reporters. He led a campaign alleging that New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker did not live in Newark when he served as mayor (which was debunked) and was involved in a Daily Caller story during which Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey was accused of soliciting underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic — though there was no evidence and the women who had accused Menendez later said they had been paid to make the allegations.
Johnson said he had received invitations from several lawmakers, but accepted Gaetz’s invitation because “he’s into stuff that I care about.” Gaetz has been in the headlines lately for calling for the release of a dubious GOP House Intelligence Committee memo that purportedly proves Justice Department abuses of surveillance authority in pursuing Trump campaign officials and the existence of an anti-Trump secret society in federal law enforcement.
During his Infowar’s appearance, Gaetz even complained about being called a conspiracy theorist.
But this isn’t the first time that a Republican has invited Johnson to Capitol Hill. California Republican and aggressively pro-Russia congressman Dana Rohrabacher brought Johnson to a meeting in 2017 to discuss Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.