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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Interior has gotten donations from white supremacists and endorsed them in political races.

Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), like chief of staff Steve Bannon, brings troubling ties to organized hate groups to the Republican president-elect’s inner circlereported Fusion.

Zinke made news during his 2014 election campaign when he accepted a $500 donation from Earl Holt, head of the Council of Conservative Citizens, whose writings about “brutal black on white murders” inspired Dylann Roof, who gunned down nine black worshipers the following year in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

A spokeswoman for Zinke later said the congressman would donate that contribution to a fund for the victims’ families.

The website also reported he co-sponsored legislation to designate English as the official language in the U.S., and he discussed the bill in an interview with the anti-immigrant ProEnglish organization, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Zinke endorsed a Montana statehouse candidate who was active in a white nationalist group as a student at Liberty University and has extensive ties to European right-wing extremists.

Taylor Rose, the former vice president of the Youth for Western Civilization, lost his election race but garnered 47 percent of the vote, but he boasted that Zinke’s support — along with the backing of a couple of other Republicans — made him a mainstream candidate despite his racist writings, which were promoted by the Council of Conservative Citizens.

Rose’s campaign website claims he managed U.S. Sen. Steve Daines’ (R-MT) “campaign in the Northwest,” and he also claims he worked for state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, the vice-chair of the Montana Republican Party and CEO of the Koch-linked American Lands Council.

Greg Gianforte, who lost his Republican gubernatorial race, gave Rose $170 in campaign contributions, and he got the same amount from GOP state Sen. Mark Blasdel.

White nationalist Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, has said he may consider running for the congressional seat vacated by Zinke.

The state’s Democratic Party called on GOP officials to denounce Spencer’s campaign, but they were a bit more reticent.

“I’m guessing most quarters of the Republican Party in Montana would look skeptically at Mr. Spencer,” said Jeff Essmann, the state’s GOP chairman.

Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story. 

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31 Responses to Interior Pick Rep. Zinke Connected To White Nationalists In Montana

  1. Trump’s cabinet consists of Wall St con men and low life shitbuckets. Donald Trump is an embarrassment to this once great nation.

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  2. Obama has been connected to black nationalists and separatists and terrorists like Bill Ayres, BLM and other insurrectionists who helped divide the country

    • Really? How many of them did he bring into his cabinet and white house staff? Your use of the terms “terrorists” and “insurrectionists” underline the absurdity of your contentions.

          • Didn’t claim you were white, don’t know and don’t care about your skin color but anyone can be racist regardless.

          • “Racism” is a convenient euphemism for not solving the problem. It’s use has lost its true meaning .

          • For you maybe but for most of us racism means attributing negative characteristics to someone based on their skin color and/or attributing positive characteristics to someone for the same reason. Both are racist actions and a sign of low intelligence and limited real world experience.

    • I never stop being amazed at the bigot’s standard defence of “black people are the REAL racists, so that makes it OK to be a neo-nazi”.
      It has NEVER WORKED, and yet they’ve been trying it on for years.

      • There are some black nationalists who are anti non Black because of perceived oppression., which is used as an excuse for laziness.

        • A jaundiced mind of a racist can never be persuaded to exercise rational thought. The standard and tiresome lame defense of blaming those who’ve been the targets of racialist thinking as perpetrators of racism shows you have no understanding of racism, it’s origins, and how its systematic application to established protocols by those benefiting from this disease depends of control of said protocols and policies protected by status quo legislation and enforcement.
          Black nationalists in America have at most been able to respond in a knee-jerk manner to racism, and people like yourself point to such responses with “AHA! See how racist black people are?”

          Your eyes, both outer and inner, need cataract surgery.

  3. The Rethugs have finally won now they do not have to dog whistle their feelings about people of color, women, gays, and anyone else who is not a white male. This is what they are, have been for a long time and T-rump is their man. Any rethug who acts like he is not happy with it is acting. This is what they stand for and have always wanted.

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