Leaked Emails Reveal Another Trump Staffer With Ties to White Nationalism

August 29, 2018, 6:28 PM UTC

Another Trump administration official has been outed for his ties to white nationalism. According to leaked emails obtained by The Atlantic, a policy analyst working for the Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security, who has since resigned, was included in emails with known white supremacist leaders.

The emails showed that analyst Ian M. Smith had been in contact with known white nationalists, including Alt-Right leader Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor, who founded the white nationalist publication, American Renaissance. Smith was included on emails organizing events, such as an “Alt Right Toastmasters” night in 2016.

One email exchange from October 2015 between Smith and Ben Zapp, a real-estate agent with ties to the Alt-Right shows the two joking and using Nazi slang. While discussing Friday night plans, Zapp used the term judenfrei, meaning “free of Jews,” to which Smith responded, “They don’t call it Freitag for nothing.”

In the same exchange, Smith discussed wanting to speak with Matt Parrott, a former spokesperson of the now-dissolved Neo-Nazi group Traditionalist Worker Party that advocates for “racial purity.” TWP was also present at last summer’s deadly “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Smith is the latest in a series of departures from the Trump administration with alleged ties to white nationalism. Last week, Darren Beattie, a speechwriter and policy aide to Donald Trump who in 2016 attended a conference attended by white nationalists, left the White House, CNN reported. Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor, along with the anti-immigration white nationalist figure Peter Brimelow, also attended the conference.

A day after Beattie was dismissed from his post at the White House, Brimelow attended a gathering at the home of Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow, the Washington Post reported. Kudlow said he was unaware of Brimelow’s white supremacist affiliations.

Smith commented on the leaked emails, telling The Atlantic, “I no longer work at DHS as of last week and didn’t attend any of the events you’ve mentioned.”

The DHS also commented on the matter, and said it is “committed to combating all forms of violent extremism, especially movements that espouse racial supremacy or bigotry.” The DHS added that white nationalist ideologies “runs counter to the Department’s mission of keeping America safe.”