About Jack Posobiec
In this article
Jack Posobiec presents himself to the public, misleadingly, as a journalist. The social media company Twitter helped make Posobiec into a public figure by verifying his account in April 2017. Twitter verified Posobiec following a half-year period in which he claimed “fmr CBS News” in his profile biography on the site. CBS News told SPLC’s Hatewatch in 2020 that Posobiec never worked for them. He posts thousands of times per month on Twitter, with his verified status helping draw hundreds of millions of impressions.
Posobiec rose to prominence during the 2016 election while working as an operative for the Roger Stone-linked 501(c)4 organization Citizens for Trump. Posobiec has described Stone, a former Donald Trump adviser and convicted felon who was pardoned by Trump in 2020, as a mentor. By tweeting to his massive following, Posobiec helped Stone’s anti-democracy “Stop the Steal” project go viral. Although Posobiec disseminates his propaganda primarily through Twitter, he helped build his reputation through a variety of different right-wing outfits including Canada’s Rebel News, the embattled cable channel One America News Network (OANN), Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, and the fringe news and opinion website Human Events. The youth-focused non-profit Turning Point USA (TPUSA) advertises Posobiec as a “contributor” on its website and has featured him as an event speaker.
Since Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Posobiec has emerged as arguably the most active spreader of disinformation among all internet performers in the far-right social media ecosystem. He pushed the #Pizzagate lie in 2016, suggesting that Democratic politicians frequented a nonexistent pedophile dungeon below a Washington, D.C., pizzeria. He also promoted the “Rape Melania” disinformation campaign in 2016, associating liberals with sexual violence. According to Buzzfeed reporting, Posobiec held up the sign bearing those words. He then used Twitter to lead people to believe that anti-Trump protesters had waved it. (Posobiec has denied those claims.) He has since pushed lies and distortions associating violent crimes with anti-racist demonstrators, as detailed below.
Posobiec has worked with a global network of extreme far-right and pro-authoritarian figures in his activism. He printed his second book through a publishing house where white supremacist Theodore Beale, known by the pen name Vox Day, serves as lead editor. In May 2017, Posobiec and the neo-Nazi Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer amplified the Russian military intelligence-backed “#MacronLeaks” operation, a so-called hack-and-leak effort to boost the campaign of far-right, anti-immigrant French politician Marine Le Pen. Around the same time, Posobiec collaborated on content for the online publication Rebel News at least twice with Jeffrey and Edward Clark, brothers who were active in online Neo-Nazi circles. The Clark brothers were reportedly connected online to Robert Bowers, who is now facing federal charges in connection with the massacre of 11 people in 2018 at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Posobiec has appeared at events with such white nationalists as Richard Spencer and Scott Greer. He has appeared multiple times as a guest on the antigovernment conspiracy website Infowars. He has posed for smiling photos with leaders of the neofascist Proud Boys. Posobiec has targeted Jewish reporters with antisemitic hate and collaborated with, and marched alongside, Polish far-right extremists in Warsaw.
In His Own Words
“It’s time for real Christians to stand up and take this country back. … This country is not ours. This country is his. He is king. God is king. Christ is king. And, the minute we get that back, we get our country back.” – Colorado Christian University, Oct. 18, 2021
“Eyewitness reports one of the first people to break a window at the Capitol wearing a US flag shirt but took it off and tossed it in bush after. Others in dark clothing urging people to rush forward, starting anti-govt chants in crowd.” – Twitter, Jan. 6, 2021, feeding into a disinformation campaign that antifa stormed the Capitol building that day
“[Jan. 6] will be something that no one’s seen before. … I think it’s going to be absolutely historic, and really codify America’s history not only for this time but for years to come.” – to The Epoch Times the night of Jan. 5, 2021, during the “Stop the Steal” event that preluded the attack on the U.S. Capitol
“StoptheSteal 2020 is coming.” – Twitter, Sept. 7, 2020, a full two months before news outlets declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election
“It’s all fun and games until the rooftops start speaking Philly.” – Twitter, June 2, 2020, referring to a group of armed, white vigilantes who positioned themselves on rooftops in response to antiracist demonstrations and rioting in Philadelphia
“In the Russian point of view, modern warfare is information warfare. These modern wars take place in the psychological space – as pressure is applied through communications, politics, economics, and technology – suppressing an adversary’s will to act. Essentially, they have shifted from a war in the physical environment to war inside the human consciousness.” – 2018, from the book 4D Warfare: A Doctrine for a New Generation of Politics
“The @ADL_National would be wise to remember what happened the last time people made lists of undesirables” – Twitter, July 20, 2017, referring to a Jewish nongovernmental organization, alongside a selfie taken at Auschwitz
“Why shouldn’t white people also be allowed to speak at a racial seminar?” – Twitter, June 26, 2017, referring to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa’s disruption of a speaking engagement by Black civil rights activist Lutze Segu.
“My ancestors are smiling at me. Can you say the same?” – Twitter, May 8, 2017, following the Russian military intelligence-backed #MacronLeaks operation, which he played a central role in amplifying
“So why do we need organizations like this? I want to get this back on topic, okay? I want to get this back on topic. … What is the purpose of organizations like that? Like Proud Boys, like the Oath Keepers, that have been out there. I work very closely with the Oath Keepers. If you guys didn’t know that. … You know, they were out there all day today. … They were doing their support. … The Oath Keepers are already doing pre-security for the Trump rally in Harrisburg this Saturday. They’re letting me know what’s going on with that. Because of my background in the Navy and my background working, ah, ah, with the intelligence community, um, I’m very, very security minded.” – Periscope, April 2017, supporting the use of extremist groups as security
“I heard, someone heard … they turned Kekistanis into soap. … [They’re] turning them into lampshades.” – Periscope, March 31, 2017, referring to an antisemitic meme while filming white nationalist Scott Greer’s book launch
“On Election Day, Stop the Steal operated in realtime [sic], with volunteer data input and broadcast directly on StoptheSteal.com. The program was found to be highly accurate in the end, especially in PA, OH, and FL. It success [sic] can be duplicated in any race, at any level, and will be an effective tool in the 2018 midterm elections, and Donald Trump’s re-election in 2020.” – 2017, from the book Citizens for Trump: The Inside Story of the People’s Movement To Take Back America, referring to the anti-democracy campaign that eventually spawned the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“I was honored to be among such company.” – 2017, from the book Citizens for Trump: The Inside Story of the People’s Movement To Take Back America, referring to a group of extremists that included Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and Proud Boys member Joe Biggs
“#PizzaGate may be bigger than we suspected.” – Twitter, Nov. 21, 2016, less than two weeks before a gunman opened fire in Comet Ping Pong pizzeria
“Surrounded by (((them))) at Peter Thiel press conference” – Twitter, Oct. 31, 2016, singling out Jewish journalists with an antisemitic meme.
Jack Posobiec has promoted an idealized version of himself that includes misleading details about his backstory and downplays his extensive ties to white supremacists. By his own account, he grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Norristown, Pennsylvania, where he thought of himself as a future entertainer. He described his desire to find a career in show business in the introduction to his 2017 book Citizens for Trump: The Inside Story of the People’s Movement To Take Back America, writing:
Working in politics is not something that I ever sought out to do. … I always wanted to be a filmmaker, or a writer, or an actor. I really enjoy being creative, I enjoy performing – especially live – and I really enjoy being able to entertain people and share that love of performance with them. I did my stand-up comedy act at age 8, in front of my entire grade school. I tried my hand at it some more, when I got older, at clubs in Philadelphia. A lot of fun!”
In an early self-produced podcast, Posobiec described auditioning for roles in musical theater on Broadway. He appeared briefly in the 2008 Kung Fu film Forbidden Kingdom, playing the role of a thug. Although footage of Posobiec playing music surfaces online from time to time, he put most of his performance energy after 2016 into hard-right politics, spinning fabricated, propagandistic stories, giving direct-to-camera speeches over Twitter’s Periscope livestreaming app and pulling attention-seeking stunts on social media. For example, in June 2017, Posobiec joined anti-Muslim bigot Laura Loomer in disrupting a production of Julius Caesar in New York’s Central Park, shouting, “You are all Goebbels!” at the audience members.
Posobiec has also earned a reputation for hyping himself as person of importance. In 2019, he promoted to his followers a comic book called “Agent Poso,” which depicts him as a secret agent summoned in stealth by the president to do battle against “a global threat.” He has also positioned himself as an expert on a variety of trending news topics. He has billed himself an “intel analyst” focused on “counter-extremism research.” He has called himself a “CCP expert,” referring to the Chinese government, a “China analyst,” and a “Mandarin Linguist.” (SPLC presented to experts in the field evidence of Posobiec speaking Mandarin and talking about China. According to these experts, he struggled with the language and demonstrated a shallow understanding of Chinese culture.) Posobiec has also presented himself as an authority on Eastern Europe. Fellow TPUSA contributor Benny Johnson described Posobiec to his audience as a “defense expert” during a March 5, 2022, broadcast of his show on Newsmax.
Posobiec attended Temple University. He wrote in his book Citizens for Trump that he headed up Temple’s College Republicans. SPLC reached out to Temple University about Posobiec to confirm these details, but the school chose not to respond to questions about him. He wrote in Citizens for Trump that he disagreed with the views of other students and professors in college.
“I realized early on that something was wrong. Very, very wrong,” he wrote in the book, referring to his college experience.
Posobiec also wrote in Citizens for Trump that he “attended the Aresty Institute of Leadership at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.” A person who declined to be named in this research sent SPLC an apparent resume of Posobiec’s, which matches his biographical details. The PDF document also lists that Ivy League school, marked only with the year 2009. SPLC reached out to Wharton for a clarification on Posobiec’s mention of Wharton, and a spokesperson wrote back that Posobiec never took any classes toward earning a degree.
“Unfortunately, we have no information about Jack Posobiec. We are better able to track former degree students,” the spokesperson wrote back.
Posobiec served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 2012 to 2018, according to records the Navy provided to SPLC. The Navy revoked Posobiec’s security clearance in 2017. The military-focused publication Task and Purpose wrote about the incident, quoting a source who claimed that the Navy yanked Posobiec’s security clearance after he shared confidential information to Twitter. Posobiec denied that accusation. Mainstream media outlets, including NBC News, reported on Posobiec’s time as a U.S. Naval Reserve officer, and his loss of security clearance, following the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Although Posobiec did not attend “Unite the Right,” Trump retweeted spin Posobiec posted, comparing the violence to murders in Chicago. Critics depicted the post as racist and an attempt to cover for the murder of activist Heather Heyer.
“I don’t know how much I can talk about. … They said somebody made a complaint against me,” Posobiec told Task and Purpose about the Navy revoking his security clearance.
A former active-duty intelligence officer analyzed Posobiec’s military record for SPLC, concluding that he was “unlikely in the extreme to have ever done any intelligence gathering of any national level importance.” They described Posobiec as being “infamous and hated” among his peers and noted that during television appearances he wears a “warfare” pin that Navy personnel consider inappropriate to flash in public, particularly given his experience level. Posobiec sometimes insists on his livestreams that what he did for the U.S. Naval Reserve, which included a stint at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, must be kept classified. The Task and Purpose story notes that, far from the secret agent persona he promoted through his “Agent Poso” comic book, “Posobiec has had ancillary duties as a urinalysis officer and overseeing physical fitness testing in his units.”
While still part of the Navy, Posobiec launched a Game of Thrones-themed Twitter account, @AngryGOTFan, which sometimes posted racist and antisemitic content.
“THE #BOYCOTTSTARWARSVII PEOPLE HAVE A POINT #PROBLEMATIC,” the @AngryGOTFan account posted on Oct. 19, 2015, showing actors of color and female actors from the 2015 film as “GOOD GUYS,” and the all-white, all-male slate of actors as “BAD GUYS.”
@AngryGOTFan later targeted Jewish people with antisemitic hate. @AngryGOTFan added triple parentheses around the names of such people as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, whose family survived the Holocaust, and also the showrunners for Game of Thrones. White supremacists commonly put three layers of parentheses around the names of Jewish people to make them “echo,” or stand out as different from white, Christian people. Under Posobiec’s control, @AngryGOTFan also posted bizarre, pro-Kremlin propaganda, including a meme showing Trump riding a lion and Putin riding a bear while crossing a stream together.
“MAGISTER DONALD RIDES WITH LORD PUTIN #DNCLEAKS,” @AngryGOTFan published to Twitter on July 25, 2016, referring to a hack-and-leak effort against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) perpetrated by Russian military intelligence.
Posobiec would later help deny Russia’s involvement in #DNCLeaks by falsely pinning the blame on murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. SPLC’s Hatewatch learned through an OSINT investigation that @AngryGOTFan likely switched his handle to @JackPosobiec sometime on the afternoon of Aug. 29, 2016, as Trump’s campaign for president entered its homestretch. Posobiec started using his own face on Twitter at that time and then immersed himself in a series of online stunts, highlighted by the repeated amplification of the #Pizzagate lie.
Posobiec branched out as a public figure in fall 2016 by giving interviews to the antigovernment conspiracy network Infowars and doing livestreams with such figures as white nationalist Timothy “Baked Alaska” Gionet, who now faces charges for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Posobiec sometimes made public appearances in 2016 wearing a pin associated with the pro-Trump “Lion Guard,” which was at the time also used by white nationalist groups such as VDARE. In September 2016, Posobiec posted a series of tweets using the numbers 14 and 88, which white supremacists commonly insert into memes. (SPLC’s Hatewatch investigated the phenomenon while analyzing his Twitter usage.) He also attended events hosted by white supremacists such as Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor and livestreamed from them.
After Posobiec showed his face and name to the public on Twitter, he listed “fmr CBS News” in his bio, which led people to believe he at some point worked as a producer for that network. SPLC’s Hatewatch also found no reference to CBS News in the apparent Posobiec resume submitted by a source. The resume lists him as working at the Philadelphia-based talk radio station WPHT, which is owned by CBS, as a promotions assistant from December 2005 to February 2007, when he would have been a student at Temple. Michael Smerconish, a TV and radio host who worked for WPHT at the time, told SPLC’s Hatewatch in 2020 he had “zero recollection” of Posobiec ever working there.
Twitter verified Posobiec’s account in April 2017, meaning the company chose to put a blue check next to his name, a designation typically reserved for journalists and other public figures. Twitter’s choice to verify a man who was already closely associated with extremism, harassment and lying loaned him an air of credibility he would not have otherwise been easily able to obtain. SPLC has reached out to Twitter about Posobiec for multiple stories, but the company has never provided a formal statement about him.
Archives show that soon after Twitter verified Posobiec’s account on April 16, 2017, he posted an apparently fake story with the headline: “SHOCK: London Police Chief Appears to Give Tips How to Assassinate Trump During Visit.” The baseless post represents just one example of many lies, half-truths and over-the-top propaganda efforts Posobiec amplified through his verified account in his capacity as an operative. (SPLC details some, but not all, of Posobiec’s aggressive efforts to spread politically charged disinformation below.)
Posobiec’s Twitter account tallied over 100,000 followers by the time he promoted the Russian intelligence-backed #MacronLeaks hack in May 2017, designed to shape the outcome of the 2017 French elections in favor of anti-immigrant and hard-right politician Marine LePen. He crossed 1 million followers by September 2020, when he started promoting the iteration of #StoptheSteal that later mutated into an attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Posobiec has repeatedly denied being an extremist. In April 2020, he claimed that SPLC sought to “incite a mass shooting against [his] wife and child” for reporting on his demonstrable ties to the white supremacist movement. SPLC’s Hatewatch documented Posobiec’s connections to extremists across nine stories, published in a series between July 2020 to April 2021. Posobiec has never contacted SPLC pointing to any claimed error of fact . He has told his fans to disregard people who use such terms as “white supremacy,” “antisemitic” and “Russian-linked.”
When SPLC reached out to Posobiec about this report, a man named Andrew Kolvet responded on his behalf. Kolvet may be connected to TPUSA: The organization puts his name and number on its press kit, and Kolvet has also identified himself as a TPUSA spokesperson in the past. Kolvet did not, however, present himself as representing TPUSA during a roughly 80-minute “fact finding” phone call. He declined to go on the record with SPLC to defend Posobiec. SPLC reached out to TPUSA through its website, seeking more information about Kolvet or a statement from the group about their relationship to Posobiec. They did not respond.
Posobiec has repeatedly focused his disinformation tactics around making critics of hard-right populism appear depraved and criminal, while downplaying or seeking to minimize acts of corruption and violence from his allies. Sometimes, Posobiec does this by distorting the facts around truthful details, giving them disproportionate weight, and amplifying them as central to a story. Other times, as with #Pizzagate, he plays up yarns with no apparent basis in fact. He wrote about the strategy of spreading disinformation and deception at length in his 2018 book 4D Warfare, while advising readers on how to win political campaigns.
“Deception is designed to affect the judgment of adversary operatives, especially as it concerns their analysis of your goals. In short, deception helps you achieve your goals by confusing your adversaries about what they truly are,” he wrote.
Outside of his own fans on the far right and researchers of extremism, the public primarily knows Posobiec for his role in amplifying the #Pizzagate lie in November 2016. Posobiec has denied being serious about #Pizzagate and has since sought to downplay his role in pushing the fake story that Democrats visited a non-existent child sex dungeon at the restaurant Comet Ping Pong. These facts are irrefutable:
- Posobiec tweeted about the importance of #Pizzagate, making such comments as “#PizzaGate may be bigger than we suspected.”
- Posobiec took the “investigation” of #Pizzagate further than many other extremists who posted about the conspiracy theory online, by traveling to the Washington, D.C., restaurant and going inside. The restaurant staff, viewing Posobiec’s behavior as harassment, called the police and asked him to leave, claiming he was creating a “dangerous situation.” Posobiec left the premises on his own, and police did not charge Posobiec with a crime.
- Posobiec appeared as a guest on the antigovernment conspiracy network Infowars for an interview about his experience inside Comet Ping Pong. He used that platform to talk about “little kids” being present and insinuated the restaurant hid something through a “secret door.”
- In December 2016, a gunman named Edgar Maddison Welch drove up to Washington, D.C., from North Carolina, entered Comet Ping Pong carrying an AR-15 and fired it inside the restaurant. He told police that he was motivated to save the children he believed, based on the PizzaGate conspiracy, were being trafficked through there. The FBI charged Welch with assault with a dangerous weapon and transporting a firearm over state lines. He served four years in prison for his crimes. Welch wrote that he “came to D.C. with the intent of helping people.”
Restaurant workers from Comet Ping Pong suffered for years from trauma related to the harassment they received because of such falsehoods and antics by Posobiec and his allies, according to James Alefantis, Comet Ping Pong’s owner. Alefantis told SPLC’s Hatewatch that people who believe the #Pizzagate lie continued to stalk and harass his staff, long after Trump’s term ended.
“We invented Jack Posobiec. Do you know what I mean? He was a literal no one and now he’s somebody,” Alefantis said of Posobiec and the role #Pizzagate played in his notoriety.
Posobiec has involved himself in so many disinformation campaigns beyond #Pizzagate that quantifying them presents challenges. He infiltrated a crowd of anti-Trump protesters with a hand-printed sign that proclaimed “Rape Melania” outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., Buzzfeed reported in January 2017. Twitter users amplified images and video of the sign, building a false impression that an anti-Trump protester wrote it. “Rape Melania” later trended on Twitter. Posobiec denied the accuracy of Buzzfeed’s reporting, suggesting he never held the sign.
Writing to Twitter on Nov. 14, 2016, Posobiec claimed: “1. Melania Trump calls for an end to cyber-bullying. 2. [Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey] allows Rape Melania to trend,” using the account that also claimed “fmr CBS News.”
Buzzfeed reported that it had obtained private chats in which Posobiec boasted that he urged anti-Trump protesters to advocate killing Trump. Posobiec denied to Buzzfeed that those chats were authentic. If Posobiec did manufacture the “rape Melania” moment to smear liberals, it arguably raises questions about other times he has claimed to observe violence by opponents of Trump. For example, Hatewatch found an archived tweet from Nov. 10, 2016, in which Posobiec purports to quote an anti-Trump protester saying, “Assassinate that N***a.” Whether such a protester really made this exact statement is impossible to know, but it became news in some circles. The Kremlin-tied news website RT published Posobiec’s tweet in a story on their English-language site one day later.
Disinformation: #StoptheSteal, 2016-21
Posobiec and other extremists pushed #StoptheSteal to plant doubts about the integrity of U.S. elections and spread lies about widespread voting irregularities that never actually occurred. He amplified #StoptheSteal in 2016 through his work with the 501(c)4 group Citizens for Trump. (In addition to backing #StoptheSteal, Posobiec’s Citizens for Trump also promoted racist commentary about former President Obama and faced scrutiny after associating themselves with the white nationalist website Eternal Sentry.) Posobiec amplified #StoptheSteal again during the 2018 midterms, targeting elections in multiple states. Later, Posobiec helped launch the now-infamous iteration of #StoptheSteal in 2020 that preceded the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
While the former Trump adviser and convicted felon Roger Stone created #StoptheSteal in 2016, his ally Posobiec helped push it onto Twitter. Stone, who involved himself in George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign to claim victory in Florida, started #StoptheSteal to pressure the Republican Party to accept Trump as the party’s nominee. He soon expanded it into a “poll watching” operation targeted at multiracial areas where Democratic turnout is high. Critics depicted the effort as being racist and anti-democrat.
Posobiec boasted about the effectiveness of #StoptheSteal in his 2017 book, Citizens for Trump: The Inside Story of the People’s Movement To Take Back America. He devoted an entire chapter to it called “Stop the Steal.” He described the operation as a repeatable formula in coming elections, including the 2020 presidential race.
“With Mr. Trump shining a light early on about the possibility of corruption, vote stealing, and election rigging, thousands of Americans put their time effort, and special skills to work for the movement,” Posobiec wrote in his book.
Posobiec tweeted, “#StoptheSteal 2020 is coming…” on the afternoon of Sept. 7, 2020, two full months before the media ultimately confirmed Biden’s victory. The Atlantic Council’s DFRLab listed the post as the first event in a timeline demonstrating how the hashtag transformed into the movement that attacked the U.S. Capitol. Posobiec tweeted about #StoptheSteal repeatedly in the runup to the violence on Jan. 6, 2021. After the violence unleashed by Trump’s supporters inspired national media attention and widespread outcry, Posobiec deleted Twitter posts in which he used the hashtag. (Hatewatch, and others, archived evidence of him using it.)
Posobiec has for years demonstrated a collaborative relationship with Ali Alexander, the hard-right operative who helped build the 2020 on-the-ground version of “Stop the Steal.” Alexander worked with white nationalist Nick Fuentes, antigovernment extremists and the Proud Boys to promote and organize rallies throughout the country denying the validity of the 2020 election results. Along with such extremists as Alex Jones of Infowars, Posobiec spoke in Washington, D.C., on the night of Jan. 5, 2021, in an event that amplified Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol. He focused his speech on the Chinese government, spoke in Mandarin and declared, “The American people are not for sale.”
Posobiec told The Epoch Times that night that the gathering at the Capitol the next day would be “something that no one’s seen before.”
“[Jan. 6] will be something that no one’s seen before … I think it’s going to be absolutely historic, and really codify America’s history not only for this time but for years to come,” he said.
Disinformation: Fabricated crimes
Enabled by Twitter’s unwillingness to remove Posobiec’s account after #Pizzagate, “Rape Melania” and other incidents that appear to violate the company’s terms of service, Posobiec pushed lies about antifa throughout 2017. Antifa is a left-leaning protest movement focused on opposing fascism and racism. The following examples represent a selection of Posobiec’s campaigns to tie opponents of hard-right politics to crimes:
- In May 2017, Posobiec amplified a fake Twitter account that had antifa branding and purported to desecrate the graves of U.S. soldiers under the hashtag #DestroyHate. The stunt had no basis in truth.
- Posobiec amplified to Twitter an obscure Facebook comment on Nov. 5, 2017, commenting, “Antifa discuss attacking churches,” following a mass shooter killing 27 people inside of a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Devin Patrick Kelley, the shooter, had no associations with the protest movement antifa.
- Following an Amtrak train derailment near Tacoma, Washington, on Dec. 18, 2017, Posobiec claimed to his followers that antifa “targeted trains” in the area. The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the incident and determined that the train’s conductor pushed the train to travel 50 MPH above the speed limit at the time that it crashed. Antifa had nothing to do with the accident. “Antifa has targeted trains for weeks very near where the Amtrak derailment tragedy took place today,” Posobiec wrote at the time.
Disinformation: Fake QAnon debunk
At a time when the catch-all conspiracy QAnon threatened to embarrass Trump, Posobiec stepped in to “debunk” it. Posobiec interviewed on OANN a pro-Hitler disinformation poster who goes by the online moniker “Microchip,” who pretended to have created QAnon and shared fabricated screenshots to back up his yarn. Microchip and Posobiec have described each other as “friends.” Posobiec’s pseudonymous white supremacist friend has published commentary in support of Hitler and of the accelerationist neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, whose members believe acts of terrorism is the only way to usher in a white ethnostate. Microchip praised the group linked to at least five murders in two posts on the fringe website Gab on July 24, 2018.
“I wish [Atomwaffen Division] had survived. They did great work in scaring the living shit out of everyone,” the person behind the Microchip Gab account wrote. “We need more hatred and fear. Everyone needs to stop being such f------ p------.”
Posobiec provided no context to his audience about Microchip’s extremism or involvement in previous disinformation campaigns. SPLC’s Hatewatch published a story about Posobiec’s use of Microchip to create disinformation in July 2020. Since that time, other researchers have come closer to proving the true origins of the QAnon conspiracy theory, demonstrating the fatuousness of Posobiec’s OANN segment. Posobiec and Microchip contributed to the same propaganda and disinformation campaigns during Trump’s 2016 campaign, including #Pizzagate.
Disinformation: ‘Color revolution’ era
Posobiec continued to sow false and misleading stories about critics of hard-right politics during the runup to and aftermath of the 2020 election, planting the idea that leftists planned a “color revolution” in the United States. A color revolution typically refers to a protest movement that culminates in changing a government, often after a disputed election.
“Antifa wants a color revolution in America,” Posobiec tweeted on June 1, 2020. “This is the same playbook used the world over. Be smart!”
Posobiec told lies about fictional terrorists to support his hyperbolic story about a color revolution. During the antiracist demonstrations and riots of June 2020, he led his followers to believe that participants in those events planted bombs in Washington, D.C., that never existed.
“BREAKING: 2 crates filled with pipe bombs discovered near Korean War Memorial in DC after suspects spotted in bushes,” Posobiec tweeted on June 2, 2020, amid the nationwide public outcry over the police-led murder of George Floyd.
The Daily Beast reported that U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado told the publication that nothing like that had ever taken place. At the time Posobiec posted the pipe bomb story, Twitter accounts shared it roughly 30,000 times. Some conservatives bought Posobiec’s yarn without questioning it. Of those who did, many used it to reinforce a false narrative that domestic terrorists led the pushback to Floyd’s murder.
“Now they have bombs. It’s escalated, if you still think this isn’t terrorism, you are wrong,” a Twitter user with the handle @Texan__Pride replied to Posobiec.
Posobiec promoted the color revolution disinformation campaign on Twitter other times in the runup to the 2020 election. He later used the “color revolution” story to imply that leftists had stolen the election from Trump, complementing his “Stop the Steal” activism.
“What happened to Trump was a domestic color revolution,” Posobiec tweeted on Nov. 6, 2021, nearly a year after Trump’s loss. “Call it what it is.”
After the Posobiec-affiliated “Stop the Steal” movement transformed into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol building, he contributed to the disinformation campaign by blaming what happened on antifa.
“Eyewitness reports one of the first people to break a window at the Capitol wearing a US flag shirt but took it off and tossed it in bush after. Others in dark clothing urging people to rush forward, starting anti-govt chants in crowd,” Posobiec posted to Twitter as the attack took place that day and the disinformation campaign started to trend.
Posobiec continued to associate the attack on the Capitol with antifa in his 2021 book The Antifa. First, Posobiec misleadingly conflated the far-right-linked Boogaloo movement with antifa-supporting left-wing anarchists in his book. Then, he suggested the FBI did not properly investigate the role of either group in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, appearing to feed into lies he helped spread about the day’s events.
“Curiously, the FBI sought not to link the events on January 6, 2021, to the Boogaloo movement, even though members claim several of their groups took part, and it is an event specifically in line with the movement’s ultimate goal. But perhaps that’s a story for another day,” Posobiec wrote in his book.
Posobiec also amplified misleading material in The Antifa about Connor Betts, a mass shooter who murdered nine people, including his own brother, in a bar in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 4, 2019. He cited Betts as an example of antifa’s growing threat to U.S. security. The publishers also included a photograph of Betts on the book’s back cover.
“Betts was a member of the antifa movement,” Posobiec wrote. “Betts’ shooting rampage is the most chilling early evidence of Antifa’s penchant for ruthless brutality. Violence perpetrated by leftist anti-government extremists had been sharply mounting in frequency and severity for years, and especially since the election of Donald Trump.”
The FBI countered that assessment on Nov. 29, 2021, by publishing an investigative report on Betts’ attack based on “over 125 interviews in multiple states, the review of over 950 surveillance videos amounting to approximately 400 hours of footage, and a comprehensive analysis of electronic devices, social media content, and other evidence.”
In other words, Betts may have expressed interest in left-wing politics, but those beliefs do not appear to have motivated his violence.
“The evidence from the extensive investigation indicated the perpetrator, Connor Betts, was solely responsible for the injuries and deaths that were a result of his actions. He acted alone and was not directed by any organization or aligned to any specific ideological group,” the FBI determined in their report.
Posobiec posted to Twitter about the color revolution again on March 22.
“2020 was a textbook Color Revolution. Right down to the violent riots across major cities,” he wrote.
Hard-right internet performers like Posobiec concocted #Pizzagate from the contents of a Russian intelligence-led hack-and-leak operation targeted at Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. These operators pulled mundane, hacked emails mentioning Comet Ping Pong pizzeria and distorted them to seem more consequential by sprinkling in salacious lies about child abuse. While a larger group of extremists, including supplement peddler Mike Cernovich, junk news blogger Cassandra Fairbanks and overt neo-Nazis, also pushed #Pizzagate, Posobiec played a more central role in elevating other Russian intelligence-backed operations.
Along with Fox News, Posobiec played a key role in popularizing the lie that former Democratic National Committee (DNC) employee Seth Rich, not Russian intelligence, provided leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks in 2016. Someone shot and killed DNC staffer Seth Rich at 4:20 a.m. on July 10, 2016, in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and Posobiec and other pro-Trump figures twisted the event to seem like part of an elaborate coverup. The posts gave cover for Russia’s efforts to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
On April 8, 2017, Posobiec tweeted a flurry of times about Rich showing apparent private chats with “Guccifer 2.0,” the figure behind the leak of DNC emails. The screenshots showed the person behind the account claiming that Seth Rich provided the materials to them. The U.S. Department of Justice revealed in March 2018 that Guccifer 2.0 worked for the GRU, or Russian military intelligence.
“Now we know why FBI did not examine the DNC servers - there was no hack, there was #SethRich,” Posobiec tweeted on the morning of April 8, 2017, days before Twitter verified his account.
Posobiec also used Guccifer 2.0’s lies to give cover for Russia in explicit terms.
“Who killed #SethRich?” Posobiec tweeted around the same time. “He leaked the DNC Emails - not Russia.”
Posobiec posts using the #SethRich hashtag ran up thousands of retweets that day, causing the hashtag to trend. In 2016, Posobiec appeared to celebrate Russia’s connection to the DNC leak, when he posted propaganda connecting the leak to Putin.
Russian intelligence-backed operation: #MacronLeaks
Posobiec amplified another Russian hack-and-leak effort in the first week of May 2017, when he delivered to Twitter news of hacked emails belonging to then-candidate Emmanuelle Macron. SPLC’s Hatewatch reported out Posobiec’s centrality in pushing #MacronLeaks in a 2021 investigative feature, following the DOJ issuing charges to six Russian hackers who worked with the GRU. The story found:
- Posobiec’s verified handle emerged as the central vessel from which news of #MacronLeaks reached France. His account coined the hashtag.
- Three prominent American-born extremists buoyed Russia’s hack-and-leak effort: Posobiec, his ally Chuck Johnson and neo-Nazi Andrew “weev” Auernheimer.
- The extremists amplified news of the hack-and-leak operation during a pre-election period in which French law prohibited their own citizens from engaging in spreading propaganda in support of either Macron or the anti-immigrant, hard-right politician Marine Le Pen.
- Bots stemming from Russia likely buoyed Posobiec’s flurries of posts while promoting the #MacronLeaks hashtag. He racked up at least tens of thousands of shares during the campaign and an unknown quantity of impressions.
- Posobiec justified his attempt to elect the anti-immigrant Le Pen by citing his “ancestors.” “My ancestors are smiling at me. Can you say the same?” he published to Twitter on May 8, following his efforts to influence the French election.
Posobiec has called himself “a proud member of #SlavRight.” #SlavRight is a hashtag that connotes the support of hard-right authoritarianism in Eastern Europe. SPLC’s Hatewatch reported out Posobiec’s use of the esoteric slang word in July 2020:
From April to June 2017, Posobiec produced far-right propaganda for a Canadian website called The Rebel Media, which has since rebranded as “Rebel News.” Posobiec’s bio for The Rebel Media described him as a “recovering political operative” and “a proud member of #SlavRight.” Posobiec used the hashtag #SlavRight on Twitter as an apparent play on the white supremacist-friendly hashtag #AltRight. “Slav” is short for the word Slavic, connoting a heritage in eastern Europe. In addition to Posobiec and his wife, Hatewatch found Richard Spencer, Spencer’s ex-wife and a pseudonymous Twitter user advocating for “Right Wing Death Squads” also using the #SlavRight hashtag.
Posobiec has referred to his Belarusian-born wife Tanya, mentioned in the above text, as a “linguist.” She boasted publicly about his participation in the #MacronLeaks campaign, and has also appeared to champion the Russian government on social media.
Posobiec promoted Russian neofascist author during #MacronLeaks era
In the runup to #MacronLeaks, Posobiec hyped to his Twitter followers a 1997 book from the Russian neofascist Aleksandr Dugin. Dugin promotes a philosophy known as neo-Eurasianism, which is a political movement that envisions Russia as its own distinct civilizational entity that is between “Europe” and “Asia.” Dugin’s worldview blends Western fascist thought with more traditional Russian ultra-nationalism. Marlene Laruelle of George Washington University characterized Dugin in her 2021 book, Is Russia Fascist?, as a “chameleon thinker” who appeals to some European or American extremists, like Posobiec.
“[Dugin] can adapt his discourse to different groups,” Laruelle wrote.
Posobiec promoted to his followers Dugin’s 1997 book, The Foundations of Geopolitics, a 600-page Russian-language tome that argues Russian security services should “introduce geopolitical disorder” in the United States by promoting sectarian and racial tensions. As SPLC’s Hatewatch previously reported, Posobiec tweeted about The Foundations of Geopolitics seven times in just under an hour on April 23, 2017. Posobiec promoted Dugin’s book again on June 13, 2017, when he uploaded a picture of it with the caption, “Summer campaign reading.” He tagged his location as the CIA’s headquarters in Virginia in the post.
John Dunlop, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who has written extensively on Russian nationalist movements, noted in a 2004 article that the General Staff Academy, a military academy in Moscow, used The Foundations of Geopolitics as a textbook. Dugin lost his adjunct professorship at Moscow State University in 2014 for calling to “kill, kill, kill Ukrainians.” His reputation as a thinker declined due to the statement, according to Laruelle. One of Posobiec’s tweets from April 23, 2017, quoted Dugin as writing, “Ukraine should be annexed by Russia.”
Russian intelligence-backed operation: South Front
On April 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued a press release sharing intelligence about an obscure website called “Southfront,” which they described as a product of Russian military intelligence. The press release coincided with the U.S. government issuing sanctions against Russia in response to “influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the leadership of the Russian Government.”
Domain records indicate someone registered the Southfront website in 2015. SPLC reviewed archived versions of Southfront’s old Twitter account and found that it had published nearly 7,000 tweets as of June 24, 2014, roughly three months after Russia annexed Crimea, a peninsula along the northern coast of the Black Sea. Southfront’s early posts on Twitter focused on spreading disinformation about the war in Donbas, an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine that began in April 2014. In 2015, the operators of the Southfront Twitter account changed their bio from “Donetsk People’s Republic,” a reference to one of the disputed territories in eastern Ukraine, to describing themselves as being focused on “news, politics and analysis.”
SPLC’s Hatewatch noted in an April 2021 story that among verified Twitter users, only Posobiec appeared to repeatedly share links to the Southfront site. He did so 28 times from November 2019 to August 2020. He shared Southfront links relating to such subjects as Iran, Syria, Libya and China. Hatewatch reached out to Posobiec during the reporting of that story to ask where he had heard of the website, but he did not respond.
“SouthFront is an online disinformation site registered in Russia that receives taskings from the FSB,” the government press release noted, referring to an arm of Russian intelligence. “It attempts to appeal to military enthusiasts, veterans, and conspiracy theorists, all while going to great lengths to hide its connections to Russian intelligence. In the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Southfront sought to promote perceptions of voter fraud by publishing content alleging that such activity took place during the 2020 U.S. presidential election cycle.”
Biolabs in Ukraine and downplaying of Bucha massacre
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Posobiec used Twitter to hype to his followers a Kremlin-backed disinformation campaign implying that something nefarious is taking place at U.S.-supported biological research labs in Ukraine.
“So we just aren’t going to do anything about the biolabs then,” Posobiec tweeted on March 21, 2022, appearing to reference the story.
The Daily Beast had detailed the Russian origins of the “biolabs” conspiracy theory in general terms one week earlier. On April 5, 2022, the Anti-Defamation League reported that a man associated with pushing the QAnon conspiracy, Jacob Creech, helped originate the Ukrainian biolabs story.
Posobiec also helped downplay alleged Russian atrocities following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Media Matters for America included Posobiec in a report about far-right influencers who spread the suggestion that the apparent mass killing of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine, might not have happened. Posobiec said on his TPUSA-affiliated podcast that “we can’t tell what happened” in Bucha.
White nationalist Richard Spencer says Posobiec introduced himself at a bar called The Tilted Kilt, outside the August 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland. Spencer suggested that Posobiec described himself as a fan of his. Spencer quotes Posobiec as saying, “I work for Roger Stone, I’m Roger Stone’s man.” Indeed, Posobiec appears in YouTube footage from a Roger Stone speaking event in Cleveland, wherein he stands a few feet behind his mentor. Spencer also shared photographs on Twitter of the two of them to corroborate the story.
According to multiple witnesses, Posobiec ally Cernovich hosted the event at the Tilted Kilt and white nationalists beyond Spencer attended it. Kevin DeAnna, a propagandist who has written for a variety of white nationalist websites including VDARE and American Renaissance, attended. Nathan Damigo, founder of the now-defunct white nationalist group Identity Evropa, was also there. Posobiec has linked to VDARE’s website on Twitter before. He later expressed support for Identity Evropa’s terrorizing of Black civil rights advocate Lutze Segu in a now-deleted tweet published on June 26, 2017.
Posobiec’s apparent contact with Spencer at the RNC hardly represents a one-off incident. Spencer has discussed the degree to which Posobiec “followed [him] around in 2016.” Posobiec appeared at a Richard Spencer speaking event at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 9, 2016. Peter Brimelow of VDARE and the white supremacist Jared Taylor of American Renaissance also spoke at the event. Posobiec promoted and documented the event on Twitter, posting pictures of Brimelow, Spencer and other white nationalist activists.
“The media cant get enough of @RichardBSpencer,” Posobiec posted that day, alongside a photo of the white nationalist.
Ties to white nationalists: II
On Sept. 25, 2016, Posobiec made a spectacle of himself at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., by staging a one-man protest. He dressed up in a Hillary Clinton wig and carried a sign to the event that read, “BLACKS ARE SUPERPREDATORS -H.” Civil rights activists and members of the Black community had long anticipated the opening of the museum, which took a quarter of a century to build. A Black police officer detained Posobiec for his antics, but he wasn’t charged.
A day later, Posobiec texted Richard Spencer to boast about his detainment. He cited an author of white supremacist novels in the context of mocking the man who detained him. Posobiec’s texts to Spencer began at 8:58 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2016:
Posobiec: It begins
Spencer: Very interesting.
Spencer: The crackdown might be too late and it’s counter-productive
Posobiec: Judicial Watch tells me they think 100% it’s bc I was a white protester and black cop. DC political demonstration laws are extremely lenient
Spencer: Doesn’t surprise me at all
Posobiec: Reminded me of the fatties in Covington’s novels
Spencer: Lol. I haven’t read a lot of Covington tbh
“Covington” refers to Harold Covington, a white supremacist science fiction author. Covington trafficked in violent fantasies about conflicts stemming from racial and cultural division. Before his death in 2018, Covington praised terrorist Dylann Roof, who murdered nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. “Fatties” refers to a type of federal law enforcement official described in Covington’s books.
Ties to white nationalists: III
Posobiec livestreamed from a book launch for white nationalist Scott Greer on March 31, 2017, at the Daily Caller’s office in downtown Washington, D.C. Posobiec appears to have deleted his livestream from the event from Twitter, but Right Wing Watch preserved it. Greer, a former Daily Caller contributor, wrote for Richard Spencer’s publication Radix Journal under the pseudonym “Michael McGregor” at the time the event took place. Posobiec praised Greer’s book No Campus for White Men on his livestream and then made jokes appearing to mock the Holocaust.
“I heard, someone heard … they turned Kekistanis into soap … [they’re] turning them into lampshades,” Posobiec said on the livestream.
“Kekistani” refers to a meme that extremists used on the imageboard site 4chan at that time, as SPLC’s Hatewatch previously reported. Proponents of the meme sometimes used it to soften Nazi imagery and make it palatable for a younger audience. Posobiec continued to interact with Greer on Twitter, up until at least 2020.
Alleged plagiarism of white nationalist Jason Kessler
The Rebel dismissed Posobiec from their company after white nationalist Jason Kessler accused him of plagiarism. Posobiec held the title of “Washington D.C. bureau chief” for the Canadian company at the time of the firing.
“Today we learned via social media that extended passages of this video by Jack Posobiec were copied word-for-word from original work produced by Jason Kessler, which can be seen here and here,” the company said in a statement in June 2017.
Kessler has organized with the neofascist Proud Boys. In August 2017, two months after the plagiarism allegations surfaced, he played a pivotal role in mounting the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Ties to white nationalists: IV
Posobiec has collaborated with white nationalist Stefan Molyneux since at least 2017. He appeared on Molyneux’s radio show to talk about antifa on April 23, 2017, and described himself as a “long time listener, first time caller.” He staged an interview with Molyneux from Warsaw, Poland, following a march that included neo-Nazi groups. He appeared on Molyneux’s radio show to talk about “China’s Global Conquest” on April 2, 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Posobiec also appeared alongside Molyneux at an event hosted by Mike Cernovich in 2018. He frequently interacted with Molyneux on Twitter before the company suspended the white nationalist’s account.
Before Twitter and YouTube suspended Molyneux’s accounts, the extremist repeatedly promoted racist pseudoscience suggesting that non-white people are predisposed to be of lower intelligence than white and Asian people. (Molyneux has denied being a white supremacist, despite endorsing white nationalism and making dehumanizing statements about “low IQ groups.”) He also promoted lies suggesting that women are predisposed to be less intelligent than men.
Posobiec worked for OANN at the time he recorded an interview with Molyneux from Warsaw, Poland, SPLC’s Hatewatch found. OANN did not respond to a request for comment about whether they ever aired the material Posobiec staged on Nov. 11, 2018. Posobiec and Molyneux recorded their talk from a five-star hotel, following their participation in a Polish-independence march that attracted neo-Nazis, neo-fascists, white nationalists and other extremists. Videographer Caolan Robertson leaked images from Posobiec’s interview of Molyneux to SPLC’s Hatewatch and described how the men discussed white nationalism that night:
Before shooting [the interview segment] they discussed how Stefan [Molyneux] had changed his mind and realized ‘white nationalism’ was actually an important factor to Poland's success. … Behind the scenes he and Jack would refer to this often. In this clip I found today while filming the summary, [Molyneux] even called his closing speech in the documentary [I shot for him] the ‘white nationalism speech’ to me, personally.
A video Robertson leaked to Hatewatch shows Molyneux referring to a monologue as his “white nationalism speech.” The New York Times reported that during the march Molyneux and Posobiec attended, people chanted “white Poland” in the crowd.
Ties to the neo-Nazi Clark brothers
While an employee of Canada’s The Rebel, Posobiec produced propaganda at least twice in 2017 with Jeffrey and Edward Clark, a pair of neo-Nazi brothers with connections online to the man later charged with murdering 11 Jewish people at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018. Posobiec filmed the brothers for a video he shot for The Rebel at an event in support of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon on April 15, 2017. (SPLC’s Hatewatch covered the prevalence of white nationalists and neo-Nazis at the pro-Bannon event in a 2020 story about Posobiec’s ties to the white supremacist movement.) Later, HuffPost published a series of photos of Posobiec and the brothers walking around the neighborhood where Seth Rich died, filming something together.
The Clark brothers embraced national socialism and terrorism. Edward, 23, traveled to Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, D.C., and shot himself in the head on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, the same day of the Tree of Life terror attack. Family members speculated that by committing suicide that day, Clark may have stopped himself from carrying out a similar act of violence.
Jeffrey, Edward’s older brother by seven years, took up the handle @PureWhiteEvil on the fringe website Gab around the time he collaborated with Posobiec. He kept a noose hanging in his black, windowless bedroom, according to a photo later released by the U.S. Attorney’s office. Although Jeffrey was found to have no connection to the Tree of Life attack, he came to authorities’ attention due to online commentary, and police arrested him on a weapons charge one week after his brother died. He served prison time for it and has since renounced white supremacy.
Introducing esoteric hate materials to Twitter
Posobiec has shared esoteric material typically appreciated in fringe, white supremacist circles with his Twitter followers. He linked his Twitter followers to 8chan’s notorious /pol/ imageboard in May 2017. 8chan is the site where three far-right terrorists have posted their manifestos. Posobiec also directed his followers to “doxes” of CNN employees posted to on 8chan in July 2017. 8chan users had listed CNN employees’ addresses and home phone numbers at the time Posobiec directed his followers to the hate site. Posobiec also shared to Twitter links to the white supremacist-friendly site Gab in September 2018, when introducing his followers to his pseudonymous associate Microchip. Around the same time Posobiec linked at least five times to that Gab feed, his “friend” Microchip used that site to praise Hitler and call Black congresswoman Maxine Waters a “bush n----r.”
Posobiec also linked his followers to an obscure neo-Nazi website called National Justice in May 2020. A neo-Nazi going by the name “Eric Striker” authors National Justice. SPLC’s Hatewatch identified him as a man named Joseph Jordan in 2019. Hatewatch also found a Russian email address buried in National Justice’s source code, and linked it back to a series of websites created or sponsored by pro-Kremlin propagandist Charles Bausman. Bausman disappeared to Moscow after appearing in a mob inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Twitter has suspended multiple accounts related to National Justice, and at the time Posobiec shared the story link to his followers, no other prominent people on the site had done so, archives show.
Posobiec shared a photograph to Twitter of books published by the obscure, white supremacist publishing house Antelope Hill in Dec. 2021. “Mail call,” Posobiec wrote in a tweet, which pictured the books Man’s World 2021 and Raw Egg Nationalism. Both books appear in Antelope Hill’s catalogue. White supremacist groups like Patriot Front and National Justice Party trade Antelope Hill materials at their gatherings. Antelope Hill sells pro-Hitler books and a book on the opioid epidemic co-authored by an extremist who compares non-white people to insects. After a researcher from the Atlantic Council flagged the origin of the books, Posobiec deleted the tweet.
Ties to the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers
Posobiec has appeared at events with the neofascist Proud Boys and keeps company with the group’s founder, Gavin McInnes. He has also claimed to correspond with the antigovernment extremist group the Oath Keepers, announcing publicly that he “works closely” with them. Members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers both participated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“So why do we need organizations like this? I want to get this back on topic, okay? I want to get this back on topic,” Posobiec told his followers on a now-deleted April 2017 livestream. “What is the purpose of organizations like that? Like Proud Boys, like the Oath Keepers, that have been out there. I work very closely with the Oath Keepers. If you guys didn’t know that … you know, they were out there all day today … they were doing their support … the Oath Keepers are already doing pre-security for the Trump rally in Harrisburg this Saturday. They’re letting me know what’s going on with that. Because of my background in the Navy and my background working, ah, ah, with the intelligence community, um, I’m very, very security minded.”
Posobiec appeared with members of the Proud Boys at an event called the “Rally Against Political Violence” on June 25, 2017. Posobiec also appeared with white nationalist Molyneux, McInnes, members of the Proud Boys and an antisemitic entertainer named Owen Benjamin at an event hosted by Mike Cernovich in January 2018. Roger Stone, Posobiec’s mentor, enmeshed himself with the Proud Boys for years and also appeared with them in the runup to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
SPLC’s Hatewatch found archives of Posobiec interacting on Twitter with McInnes and also with another Proud Boys leader, Joe Biggs, whom a grand jury indicted in March 2021 on charges related to storming the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. (Twitter has since suspended accounts belonging to both men.) The Times of Israel published a photograph of Posobiec and Biggs posing together at the Trump International Hotel in October 2016. When Posobiec singled out CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for being Jewish in July 2016, he did so while reposting content from an account run by Biggs.
Posobiec wrote in Citizens for Trump that he was “honored to be among such company,” referring to a list of people allegedly published by antifa that included McInnes and Biggs. Posobiec recycled the same anecdote for his 2021 book The Antifa, which followed the pro-Trump attack on the Capitol, but removed McInnes’ and Biggs’ names from the new version of the story. (For a point of comparison, see the first example of Posobiec’s anecdote, including the names of Proud Boys, and the second example of the same story, where he appears to selectively remove their names.) Posobiec published The Antifa following the attack on the U.S. Capitol building, which implicated Proud Boys members in a number of alleged crimes.
Posobiec, who is of Polish ancestry, has worked with far-right extremists in that country since at least 2017. Hatewatch has reported out those connections in detail. Here is a summary of them:
- Met with Krystof Bosak of the hard-right Ruch Nardowy party (RN) in July 2017, around the same time Trump gave a nativist speech authored by Stephen Miller in Warsaw. Bosak has called Posobiec his “friend.”
- RN’s president Robert Winnicki has made antisemitic comments, like saying “the Jews will not get a penny from us,” referring to a U.S. bill seeking restitutions for Holocaust survivors.
- Even under Poland’s right-wing government, Bosak is considered a fringe figure. He has publicly questioned whether Earth really revolves around the sun.
- Posobiec has cited Bosak’s commentary about the antifa movement, calling the protest movement a “terror network.”
In April 2017, Posobiec amplified to Twitter video and images of an event staged by Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny (ONR), a group with a long history of emulating Nazism. Today’s ONR finds its roots in an earlier iteration of the group that in the 1930s bombed Jewish people’s homes to “cleanse” the Polish population.
- Posobiec marched in the 2018 Polish independence march. Marchers chanted “white Poland” that day, according to news reports. Both ONR and the white nationalist Molyneux marched. England’s Hope Not Hate published a photo of Posobiec in the crowd, along with other hate figures.
- Posobiec has associated since at least 2018 with a Polish man named Wojciech Pawelczyk. The antiracist group Never Again found Pawelczyk making an antisemitic comment on a hard-right, Polish-speaking forum in 2020. Never Again, a Polish group, collaborated with SPLC’s Hatewatch to uncover Posobiec’s connections to extremists in that country.
- Pawelczyk has posted photos of himself with Posobiec and claimed to help operate his social media accounts.
The female-led dating app Bumble banned Posobiec from using their services in January 2018. A woman who used the service posted a picture of what looked like a Bumble profile of Posobiec to Twitter, asking, “Is @bumble_app still a feminist dating app or the place where white nationalists / nazis go to cheat on their wives?” Posobiec denied using the app to cheat on his wife and claimed that a troll created it. Bumble said they removed Posobiec from their service.
“Our team has removed Jack from our platform. Bumble was founded on the core values of kindness, respect, integrity and equality, and we do not tolerate anyone who does not uphold these values on our platform,” Bumble posted to Twitter on Jan. 24, 2018.
Prior to Bumble’s announcement, Posobiec involved himself in an apparent campaign to intimidate a woman who accused 2017 Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. Known for his extreme far-right politics, Moore saw accusations of sexual misconduct bog down his campaign in October and November of 2017, before he lost the race to Democrat Doug Jones. Moore’s defeat marked a rarity for Republicans in the state. Among other accusations Moore faced, a woman accused him of trying to sleep with her when she was 14 years old. As Moore’s campaign struggled, Posobiec used his verified Twitter handle to post the woman’s name and photograph.
Critics of Posobiec noted the difference in tone he struck one year earlier, when addressing the fake #Pizzagate pedophilia scandal, wherein he claimed to feel concern for underage victims of sexual abuse. Posobiec tweeted that he found the woman’s information on the website Heavy.com, The Daily Beast reported. Posobiec deleted the tweets after facing criticism and briefly locked access to his account.
Men have targeted women with harassment after Posobiec has posted about them. For example, Posobiec targeted with derision a female CNN journalist in January 2021, following that reporter covering the Arizona Republican Party. Trolls targeted the reporter with harassment after Posobiec posted about her. One such person updated the reporter’s Wikipedia page and put “homewrecker” as her middle name, referring to an article about her personal life Posobiec shared. Two CNN employees told Hatewatch that they reported Posobiec’s account to Twitter at the time the troll storm took place. Twitter did nothing. (SPLC has elected to remove the reporter’s name to spare her further harassment.)
From April to July of 2021, Posobiec, along with a chorus of other extremists, repeatedly posted on Twitter about CNN contributor Dr. Leana Wen. Wen provided analysis to CNN about the COVID-19 pandemic, and Posobiec associated her with her previous work for Planned Parenthood, and with Chinese communism, across a series of at least five posts. (Wen is of Chinese descent.) Twitter users flooded into Wen’s replies following Posobiec’s posts. In July 2021, authorities charged a Texas man with making violent threats to Wen, although it’s unclear from where he found the inspiration to do so.
Posobiec has also associated himself publicly with male supremacists, including frequent collaborator Mike Cernovich, and as reported in The Daily Beast, Andrew Tate, whose home Romanian police raided in 2022 as part of a human trafficking investigation. Posobiec also “promoted” the misogynistic book Sanction to his followers, authored by Lyndon McLeod. McLeod went on to murder five people in a Denver shooting spree in December 2021.
Posobiec taunted supporters of abortion rights on May 5, 2022, when he posted to Twitter an image of some American states overlaid with imagery from the television show “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Women in that show are owned as property by a Christian fundamentalist totalitarian government.
Resurrecting pedophilia accusations
In April 2022, Posobiec repeatedly pushed a meme across Twitter, Instagram and Telegram suggesting that the company Disney enabled “groomers.” Responding to Disney’s opposition to Florida legislation undercutting LGBTQ rights in Florida, Posobiec and other far-right activists used the term “groomer” as a stand-in for pedophile, implying that LGBTQ people are grooming children for sex. Posobiec used his social media following to sell T-shirts issued by a company called Bring Ammo that placed the words “Boycott Groomers” over Disney’s logo. The shirt featured the words “Bring Ammo” in smaller letters.
Critics of Posobiec noted the similarities between the “groomers” campaign and #Pizzagate. SPLC reached out to Twitter for a comment about Posobiec for this report. The company temporarily locked Posobiec’s account on or around April 10, 2022, apparently over the “groomers” content, but never responded to SPLC’s email. Instagram also did not respond to a request for comment. In the same month Posobiec pushed pedophilia-themed campaign, he also took his family to Disney World.
Promotion and push notifications on Twitter
Twitter’s “who to follow” recommendation algorithm suggests Posobiec’s account to users who have browsed other right-leaning accounts. Twitter’s algorithm has promoted the accounts of key players involved in pushing #Pizzagate and also spreading 2020 election lies. The billion-dollar company has also enabled supplement peddler Mike Cernovich and junk news blogger Cassandra Fairbanks, but Posobiec has significantly more followers than they do.
In April 2021, Twitter sent a push notification to some of its users advertising Posobiec’s posts about the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin. Posobiec promoted on Twitter arguments in support of Chauvin’s defense team at that time. A jury found Chauvin guilty of murdering a Black man named George Floyd. Hatewatch reported about Posobiec’s commentary on the Chauvin trial on April 25, 2021:
Posobiec … repeatedly churned out misleading content about the trial through his Twitter account, which has more than 1 million followers. For example, Posobiec pushed on March 3 the idea that the city of Minneapolis could not be trusted to provide Chauvin with a fair trial, helping to create what went on to become a sustained far-right narrative. He later referred to Chauvin’s defense attorney as “crushing it” while linking to an obscure blog post depicting the prosecution as struggling to present a coherent case. … Posobiec also posted misdirecting comments and analysis about the subject of “intent” on the part of the accused murderer, a subject that he referenced multiple times on Twitter. Prosecutors had no requirement to prove Chauvin intentionally murdered Floyd – only that he intended to use illegal force.
Although such prominent right-wing outlets as OANN and Canada’s The Rebel cut ties with Posobiec in recent years, mainstream figures in the conservative movement, such as members of Trump’s inner circle including Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, continue to promote him. (Posobiec devoted an entire chapter of his book Citizens for Trump called “Lyin’ Ted” to memorializing Trump’s smears of Cruz.)
Posobiec documented Peter Thiel’s Oct. 31, 2016, announcement of his support of Donald Trump at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and is connected to the billionaire tech mogul. Posobiec commented derisively about Jewish reporters who attended the event by posting to Twitter, “Surrounded by (((them))) at Peter Thiel Press conference.” In September 2019, Thiel invited Posobiec into his apartment to document a fundraiser for hardline anti-immigrant Senate candidate Kris Kobach. Kobach went on to lose the race.
TPUSA, a youth-focused group of conservative activists, not only promotes Posobiec prominently on their website and feature him at events, they also loan their branding to a podcast he hosts. TPUSA founder and president Charlie Kirk invited Posobiec onto his podcast “The Charlie Kirk Show” to discuss Russia’s war with Ukraine in February, billing him as a “China expert.” After a jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse in late November 2021 of murder charges related to the shooting of two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during unrest in that city, Rittenhouse visited TPUSA’s offices, where he met with Posobiec. Rittenhouse also appeared with Posobiec on stage one month later at a TPUSA event in Arizona.
The Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, another prominent right-wing organization, hosted Posobiec at dinners at least twice, during 2018 and 2019. Allies of Posobiec’s who went on to push Trump’s disinformation about the 2020 election – including Cernovich, the junk news specialist Fairbanks, Brandon Straka, Scott Presler, Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft and former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn – also attended one or the other of these dinners. Beyond Stone, Posobiec has ties to others who advised former President Trump, including Flynn and Steve Bannon.
Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son, associates publicly with Posobiec. The men congregated at Bannon’s anti-immigrant We Build the Wall event in July 2019, as SPLC’s Hatewatch previously reported. Authorities charged Bannon and co-host Brian Kolfage with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering over allegedly misusing funds they generated through the event. (Trump pardoned Bannon of the crime before leaving office in 2021.) Trump Jr. and Posobiec first started following each other on the site sometime in 2017, Hatewatch found. Trump’s son frequently reposts Posobiec’s Twitter content. Posobiec sent private text messages to former Breitbart editor Kate McHugh describing Trump Jr. as being “redpilled [as fuck].” “Redpilled” is an internet slang word that connotes different degrees of far-right radicalization.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who spent $25 million to buoy Trump’s election lies, uses Posobiec as a pitchman for his pillows. Posobiec sells MyPillow merchandise through his verified Twitter handle, offering his followers a discount through a special promo code. Twitter suspended Lindell from its platform in January 2021 for publishing lies about the 2020 election. They also suspended the MyPillow Twitter account, making Posobiec the site’s most visible hype man for Lindell’s products.
Similarly, Posobiec has long promoted videos created by the hard-right activist group Project Veritas. Twitter suspended accounts related to Project Veritas and its founder James O’Keefe in 2021 over alleged violations related to “platform manipulation and spam.” Posobiec has continued to promote Project Veritas videos through his account, giving them visibility on the site. He tweeted “Project Veritas is infrastructure” on April 13, 2021, while the group hyped up a campaign they created, targeted at CNN. Twitter suspended O’Keefe days later.
Promoted by Donald Trump
With Twitter’s help, former President Trump built Posobiec’s celebrity. Trump boosted Posobiec’s August 2017 commentary about Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” rally at a time when the country scrutinized the president’s Twitter feed. Trump also did so at a moment when #Pizzagate, #MacronLeaks and other stunts overshadowed public perception of Posobiec. For an example of how Twitter and Trump helped legitimize Posobiec, the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), the most high-profile annual gathering of Republican politicians and activists in the country, denied the extremist access to their event in February 2017. CPAC has done this with other extremists, including anti-Muslim bigot Laura Loomer and white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Twitter verified Posobiec in April 2017, and Trump acknowledged him publicly in August 2017. CPAC then invited Posobiec to their event in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
In February 2022, a little over a year after the “Stop the Steal” campaign Posobiec promoted helped inspire an attack on the U.S. Capitol, CPAC picked him to speak on their main stage. CPAC also made Posobiec their closing speaker at CPAC Hungary, a May 2022 gathering that also featured figures such as Zsolt Bayer, a Hungarian propagandist who has compared Jewish people to “stinking excrement.” Posobiec closed the gathering with a speech that condemned as Satanic “globalism” and “open societies,” terms associated with the philanthropy of billionaire George Soros that double as common tropes of antisemitic propaganda.
On May 2, 2020, less than two weeks after SPLC’s Hatewatch reached out to Posobiec for a comment about an investigation into his background, Trump endorsed the extremist by name on Twitter.
“That’s right Jack. Keep up the good work!” Trump wrote, reposting a comment Posobiec made suggesting that the president reads his Twitter feed.
Twitter suspended Trump’s account on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after his supporters attacked the Capitol building.