Here’s some surprisingly news: Back in 2002, House Majority White Steve Scalise (R-Confederacy) spoke at a meeting hosted by a group called EURO — a group described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “white nationalist group and ‘a paper tiger’ to sell books and otherwise publicize the works of former Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana representative David Duke.”
What? You’re not surprised?
The first reports came over the weekend from Louisiana blogger Lamar White, who noted Scalise’s appearance in the white nationalist-headlined conference that took place in Metiarie, Louisiana.
White got most of his information from contemporaneous forum posts on Stormfront; at the time he made his appearance, Scalise was a state senator.
The story was followed up on by two congressional reporters, the Washington Post’s Robert Costa and Politico’s Jake Sherman, who took their questions to Scalise’s office. And while both men got slightly different responses, Costa was able to confirm that yes, to everyone’s everlasting surprise, the GOP rep did appear at the event.
Sherman’s report wasn’t as certain about whether Scalise actually spoke at the event, but the Republican Whip’s office didn’t outright deny it. Communications Director Moira smith told Sherman that:
Throughout his career in public service, Mr. Scalise has spoken to hundreds of different groups with a broad range of viewpoints. In every case, he was building support for his policies, not the other way around. In 2002, he made himself available to anyone who wanted to hear his proposal to eliminate slush funds that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars as well as his opposition to a proposed tax increase on middle-class families.
He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic.
Maybe he wasn’t affiliated with that particular abhorrent, hate-fueled, racist and ignorant group, but he willingly affiliates himself with another: The GOP.