Jack Posobiec, a correspondent for One America News Network (OANN) whose work has been embraced by President Trump, collaborated for years with white supremacists, neo-fascists and antisemites, a Hatewatch investigation has determined.
Posobiec’s ties to far-right extremists travel beyond borders into Europe. His connections to white supremacy are too numerous to compile into one article, so Hatewatch is running a series of stories on the correspondent’s ties to the movement and promotion of it. This first story in the series lays out how Posobiec rose from being a pseudonymous Game of Thrones blogger to linking up with such white supremacists as Richard Spencer and a neo-Nazi who endorsed terrorism while using the online handle @PureWhiteEvil.
Posobiec, 34, described himself in his Twitter bio as being “fmr CBS News” during chapters of his life detailed in this story. CBS News told Hatewatch he never worked for them. At the time Posobiec introduced himself to the public on Twitter as “fmr CBS News,” he promoted now-infamous disinformation campaigns such as “Pizzagate.” He built up a larger audience during this time, gaining over 9,000 followers per month from September 2016 to March 2017.
Posobiec used Twitter to target Jewish journalists with antisemitic hate. His targets included CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, whose Polish family survived the Holocaust during World War II. Posobiec also targeted a group of journalists reporting on a press conference hosted by Peter Thiel. Three Jewish rights groups – the Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Bend the Arc: Jewish Action – described Posobiec’s behavior as antisemitic or condemned OANN’s relationship to him after Hatewatch reached out for comment on this investigation. The full statements of those groups as well as additional evidence of Posobiec’s antisemitic remarks can be found here.
On May 2, President Donald Trump praised Posobiec in a tweet: “That’s right Jack. Keep up the good work!” Trump was referring to the OANN anchor boasting on Twitter that the President reads his feed. It was not the first time Trump promoted Posobiec to his millions of followers. He also did so on Aug. 14, 2017, two days after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In the tweet Trump boosted, Posobiec commented on violent crime commonly associated with Black suspects, comparing it to a white supremacist murdering an antiracist demonstrator at the Charlottesville event. Trump also posted a self-promotional video to Twitter on May 16, where he was depicted as being surrounded by his allies while he gives a speech from the movie "Independence Day." Posobiec’s face was included in the video alongside Vice President Mike Pence.
Posobiec is on pace to reach one million Twitter followers by the end of the year. He has nearly as many as the official account for OANN itself. Posobiec’s following and Trump’s endorsements help make him arguably the most recognizable person linked to OANN’s brand. Critics of President Trump have questioned his repeated praise of OANN, due to allegations that the station has low editorial standards and plays the role of a “propaganda outlet” for his administration. Posobiec, in particular, produces a prodigious amount of online propaganda celebrating Trump. Most recently, he appeared at Trump’s rally in Tulsa on June 20 and Trump’s speech in front of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on July 3, hyping those events through Twitter.
“They treat me very nicely,” Trump said of OANN at a March 19 press briefing.
Hatewatch reached out twice to the White House about Trump’s praise of Posobiec but did not receive a reply. OANN responded to Hatewatch’s request for comment on this investigation by calling it dangerous.
“Your claims based on a guilt by association fallacy is nothing short of reckless, dangerous, and improper – a typical smear tactic,” Robert Herring, OANN’s CEO, wrote to Hatewatch in an email in response to inquiries about Posobiec’s ties to white supremacists.
Posobiec responded by text to Hatewatch on April 20. He claimed that some of Hatewatch’s findings were “disinformation,” and said he reported Hatewatch to the FBI. (Posobiec has repeatedly derided the FBI on Twitter and called for their defunding on June 6.) Within a day of Hatewatch making contact with Posobiec, the correspondent, along with far-right social media personality Mike Cernovich, an associate of Posobiec’s and a fellow participant in the infamous “Pizzagate” disinformation campaign, published over a dozen tweets purporting to link Southern Poverty Law Center and one of its employees to violence and the desire to instigate murder. Posobiec then anchored a segment on OANN that sought to tie the SPLC to a 2012 shooting incident at the headquarters of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council. The SPLC denounced political violence in a statement at that time. Posobiec did not reach out for comment for his OANN segment about the SPLC.
“You’re intending to use disinformation to incite a mass shooting against my wife and child,” Posobiec wrote to Hatewatch by text on April 20.
Posobiec has deleted some of the Twitter posts Hatewatch describes in this series. He has also claimed his old posts were faked in order to make him look bad. For example, on May 22, around the time Hatewatch reached out to Posobiec’s associates for comment on this investigation, he tweeted out, “Fake [direct messages], tweets, texts etc[.] - all hallmarks of [a social justice warrior] hate mob[.] They still have ones of me floating around they made in 2017[.]”
Hatewatch linked to archived evidence of Posobiec’s social media history wherever possible throughout this investigation. Internet archiving authenticates the existence of the source material. It creates a simulacrum of a webpage or post through the use of web crawlers. Archiving has been deemed admissible as evidence in a U.S. court of law.
From 'Game of Thrones' to targeting Jews with hate
Posobiec’s road to becoming a right-wing social media personality started at a time when he was also a reserve intelligence officer, a position he held with the Navy from 2012 to 2018, according to military records reviewed by Hatewatch. Posobiec was stationed for a little under a year starting in September 2012 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He told a podcast in April that he was “assigned to the interrogation cell” at that facility. A former active duty naval intelligence officer, who asked not to be named, analyzed Posobiec’s military service record for Hatewatch. That person said the OANN anchor was “unlikely in the extreme to have ever done any intelligence gathering of any national level importance.” The Navy provided his records but otherwise declined to comment.
Posobiec posted to Twitter under the pseudonym @AngryGOTFan from May 2012 to the afternoon of Aug. 29, 2016, when he changed the handle to @JackPosobiec, Hatewatch determined through an open source investigation of his account. He also ran a "Game of Thrones"-themed blog called angrygotfan.com. (While Hatewatch conducted this investigation, which included reaching out to associates of Posobiec about @AngryGOTFan, he added a line in his Twitter bio, “wrote @AngryGOTFan.”) Posobiec’s @AngryGOTFan Twitter account published hate and attracted the interest of far-right extremists.
Holocaust-denying far-right publisher Chuck Johnson embedded an @AngryGOTFan tweet in a post he published for his now-defunct GotNews website on Oct. 20, 2015. Johnson gathered commentary in that post from "Star Wars" fans who expressed anger about the series casting non-white actors and women to play heroes in "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens." Posobiec, as @AngryGOTFan, was included.
“THE #BOYCOTTSTARWARSVII PEOPLE HAVE A POINT #PROBLEMATIC,” Posobiec wrote through his @AngryGOTFan persona on Oct. 19, 2015. The post showed side-by-side images of the heroes and villains in that film, highlighting the actors of color and female actors as “GOOD GUYS” and the all-white, all-male slate of actors as “BAD GUYS.”
Posobiec published the tweet targeting Wolf Blitzer with antisemitism from behind his pseudonymous @AngryGOTFan account on July 27, 2016. He employed the so-called echoes meme around Blitzer’s first name, wherein a social media user adds three sets of parentheses around the name of a Jewish person to single them out with mockery. The meme originated on Mike Peinovich’s white supremacist podcast network The Right Stuff, and was employed by internet-based antisemities around the time of the 2016 election.
Posobiec also published a tweet in which he targeted Game of Thrones’ show runners with antisemitic hate.
“(((CROOKED BENIOFF LOW ENERGY WEISS AND LYIN BRYAN))),” Posobiec tweeted from the pseudonymous account on June 27, 2016, singling the men out as being Jewish.
Posobiec’s @AngryGOTFan persona became increasingly political in the months before he began using his own name, according to archives. @AngryGOTFan published a tweet praising Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 25, 2016. The tweet featured a photoshopped meme of Trump riding a lion and Putin riding a bear. It referenced the leaked Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails. Russian intelligence agents are alleged to have illegally obtained those emails.
“MAGISTER DONALD RIDES WITH LORD PUTIN #DNCLEAKS,” @AngryGOTFan wrote on July 25, 2016.
White supremacists gather outside the 2016 Republican National Convention
Posobiec connected with far-right figures including white nationalist figurehead Richard Spencer at the scene of the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC), according to statements Spencer made and a photo Spencer published to Twitter. Former Breitbart and GotNews editor Katie McHugh backed up Spencer’s account. McHugh told Hatewatch she was there on the day Spencer said the two men met.
Posobiec attended the RNC in July 2016 while working for Citizens for Trump, a 501(c)(4) organization with ties to longtime political operative Roger Stone. The Game of Thrones blogger self-produced an obscure podcast under his own name in the summer of 2016 with show titles like “Tutorial: How to Rig an Election.” He used it to talk about his relationship to Citizens for Trump, to Stone and his experience at the RNC. Citizens for Trump hosted an event outside the RNC on July 18, 2016, which was initially sponsored by a website called Eternal Sentry, according to news reports from that time. Citizens for Trump dropped Eternal Sentry as a sponsor after Media Matters reported that website depicted Jews as an enemy race of whites in propaganda videos. Eternal Sentry also pushed racist conspiracies about “white genocide.” It was not the first time Citizens for Trump drew criticism for promoting racism.
Stone, who Posobiec frequently praises, was convicted of felony charges related to the Mueller investigation. He has also made racist statements. He publicly described black journalist Roland Martin as a “stupid negro” and a “fat negro,” during the runup to the 2016 election, and was banned from appearing on CNN and MSNBC for those remarks, as well as others in a similar vein. Video footage taken July 19, 2016, the second day of the RNC, demonstrates Posobiec’s apparent closeness to Stone at that time. Stone gave a talk at a Barnes and Noble that day. In the footage, Posobiec can be seen standing behind the veteran political operative.
White nationalist Richard Spencer claimed that during the RNC in Cleveland, Posobiec introduced himself as an associate of Stone. Posobiec also called himself a white nationalist sympathizer, according to Spencer. Spencer published a picture appearing to show the two men together at a bar to corroborate his claim.
“Here’s a photo of me and @JackPosobiec in Cleveland at bar during the RNC,” Spencer published on June 18, 2017, across a series of different tweets, explaining what he described as a falling out between the men that followed. “[I] had never heard of Jack [Posobiec] before. He introduced himself as a Roger Stone associate and we talked for a while. Jack praised me and other Alt-Right leaders for the work we did helping Trump. He presented himself as a supporter.”
Spencer described the incident in greater detail in an interview with Laura Sennett of the antiracist group One People’s Project in 2017. During the interview, which was recorded on video, Spencer said the event where he first met Posobiec was “semi-private.” He said it was staged at a “Scottish themed Hooters bar.” The Tilted Kilt was open in Cleveland during the 2016 RNC, but it closed two years later.
“This guy came up to me who I had never met before and he introduced himself, you know, as Jack, Jack Posobiec,” Spencer recalled to Sennett in the interview. “He introduced himself as, ‘I work for Roger Stone, I’m Roger Stone’s man.’”
Spencer said in the interview that Posobiec told him he was “tightly connected” to the Trump campaign. He presented himself as being “two degrees of separation from Trump himself, that kind of thing,” Spencer said. Spencer told Sennett that the more he saw of Posobiec over time, the less he trusted his motives. He described him as coming across as a mysterious, “behind-the-scenes operator.”
“He’s a weird guy. He has that dead-eyed look to him,” Spencer told Sennett. “He’s seems to be a little… creepy, sociopathic.”
Katie McHugh told Hatewatch she also attended the event at the Tilted Kilt. She described the bar to Hatewatch as a bar where female servers were “wearing kilts and had their white linen shirts tied into a bikini top.” McHugh said Posobiec’s friend Mike Cernovich hosted the gathering and invited her. McHugh told Hatewatch that Spencer’s memory of Posobiec being “dead-eyed” made sense. “Whenever I met [Jack Posobiec], it felt like there was no there there,” she said.
McHugh, who has since renounced racism, once belonged to a scene composed of white nationalists and anti-immigration activists. She told Hatewatch that several people in that scene were invited to the event at the Tilted Kilt. Kevin DeAnna, a white supremacist author who has written thousands of posts for VDARE and American Renaissance, attended it, she said. McHugh was dating DeAnna at that time. She said she traveled with him to the bar. Nathan Damigo was also there, according to McHugh. Damigo is the founder of the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Peter Brimelow and his wife Lydia Brimelow of the white nationalist non-profit VDARE also went, according to McHugh. So did male supremacist Daryush "Roosh" Valizadeh, she said. The Brimelows and Valizadeh did not respond to a request for comment. Hatewatch was unable to find up-to-date contact information for Damigo or Deanna. A GotNews post published in August 2016 also describes Cernovich, Brimelow and Spencer gathering in Cleveland for the 2016 RNC.
Hatewatch reached out to Cernovich for comment about McHugh and Spencer’s claims on May 14. Cernovich did not respond. He later tweeted three times about SPLC in under 24 hours, accusing the organization in one post of inspiring a “mass shooting of Christians.”
Hatewatch found a livestream Cernovich recorded, in which he urged people who were in the “alt-right” to support Spencer’s organization National Policy Institute (NPI). Cernovich staged the livestream in September 2016, a month and a half after the Tilted Kilt event.
“If you’re in the alt-right, I hope you’re giving money to NPI,” Cernovich said of Spencer’s group during his livestream. “Alt-Right” refers to the white supremacist-friendly online movement that buoyed Trump’s rise during the 2016 election. On July 11, Cernovich tweeted that he banned Spencer from attending his events sometime in 2017.
Posobiec promoted Richard Spencer event at the Willard Hotel
On Sept. 7, 2016, Posobiec posted on Twitter about his desire to attend an event hosted by white nationalist Richard Spencer to the over 10,000 followers he had accrued as a pseudonymous "Game of Thrones" fan. The Spencer event also featured speeches by VDARE’s Peter Brimelow and Jared Taylor of the white nationalist group American Renaissance. It was initially scheduled to be held at the National Press Club. When the venue pulled out, Spencer held it at the Willard Hotel. Posobiec ultimately attended it there on Sept. 9, 2016.
“Excellent turn out at Alt Right press conference,” Posobiec wrote in one tweet alongside an image of Spencer speaking to what appears to be a modest crowd. “Peter Brimelow of @VDARE #AltRightConference,” Posobiec wrote in another tweet that featured a picture of Brimelow speaking to attendees of the event.
A New York magazine reporter embedded one of Posobiec’s tweets from that day in an article. Taylor of American Renaissance said in his speech that white and Asian people are genetically predisposed to be more intelligent than black and Hispanic people, the New York article noted.
“The media can’t get enough of @RichardBSpencer,” Posobiec tweeted on Sept. 9, 2016, alongside a picture of the white nationalist speaking to the media.
Posobiec contacted Richard Spencer after museum stunt
Richard Spencer, who did not respond to a request for comment from Hatewatch about Posobiec, published to Twitter in February 2019 screenshots of what he claimed were text messages Posobiec sent him. Hatewatch authenticated the messages through a third party who is in contact with Spencer but asked not to be named in this story. Hatewatch also matched timestamps of the messages Spencer published with the timing of events as they happened in order to further corroborate them. Posobiec sent the messages to Spencer in the two months after Posobiec first stepped out from behind his @AngryGotFan persona, timestamps show.
Posobiec contacted Spencer on Sept. 25, 2016, one day after he staged a racist, one-man, anti-Hillary Clinton demonstration outside of the opening ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Outside of the first opening of that museum on Sept. 24, 2016, a then-unknown Posobiec appeared at the National Mall wearing a mask, blonde wig and an orange jumpsuit. He carried a sign that read “BLACKS ARE SUPERPREDATORS -H,” misquoting a statement made by Hillary Clinton. The event was memorialized by the far-right blog Gateway Pundit. Police detained Posobiec during his stunt, the blog noted.
Posobiec started a conversation with Spencer on Sept. 25, 2016 at 8:58 p.m., according to the screenshots. He shared three pictures of a black officer appearing to detain him and sit him down on a curb, the text messages show. Posobiec also sent Spencer the Gateway Pundit post.
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 Convington tbh
The “Covington” Posobiec referenced here is Harold Covington. Covington was a white supremacist who died in 2018. Toward the end of a long career in the white power movement, Covington started writing racist science fiction. Hatewatch found references to the “Fatties” Posobiec mentioned to Spencer in an internet archive of Covington’s book "Northwest Quintet." “Fatties” was used a derogatory term for a federal anti-terrorist law enforcement group in the book. In the same text Posobiec referenced, a protagonist detailed his plan for eliminating minorities on land he believes should belong only to white, heterosexual, non-Jews:
…all non-whites and homosexuals [are] to leave the three basic Homeland states and anywhere else we’re operating. Henceforth all non-whites, especially Jews, are considered to be legitimate military targets and are to be destroyed on sight, in theory. In practice, your job will not be to run around slaughtering blacks and Mexicans en masse. Your task is to drive them out, if you see the difference. Dead or vamanos doesn’t matter, we want them gone.
Covington’s name popped up in the news in 2015 when he spoke admiringly of the white supremacist who killed nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. It is worth noting that Posobiec selected a target for his protest that was important to the black community. Rep. John R. Lewis of Georgia and Rep. Mickey Leland of Texas first introduced legislation related to creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 1988 and it faced staunch political opposition. “It is real. It is real,” Lewis said at the groundbreaking of the museum’s construction in 2012, after fighting over a quarter of a century to see it built.
Posobiec put the words “fmr CBS News” in his Twitter bio while promoting hate and disinformation
Around the time Posobiec promoted his stunt at the opening of National Museum of African American History and Culture, he put the words “fmr CBS News” in his Twitter bio. Posobiec made this claim on Twitter for about six months, archives show. During the “fmr CBS News” period, which lasted from September 2016 to the middle of March 2017, Posobiec interacted with far-right extremists and also promoted politically charged disinformation.
A representative for CBS News told Hatewatch that Posobiec never worked for them. Posobiec is from the Philadelphia area, so Hatewatch also reached out to CBS’ local television affiliate in that city. The news director for CBS’s Philadelphia affiliate told Hatewatch Posobiec never worked there. Posobiec currently resides in Washington, D.C. Hatewatch reached out to a reporter from the Washington CBS affiliate, but that person said Posobiec was never a colleague. Hatewatch also reached out to Cassandra Fairbanks and Will Chamberlain, two of his friends. They both told Hatewatch by text message they were unaware of Posobiec working for any major outlet for journalism before landing a job with OANN.
Hatewatch obtained a copy of what appears to be Posobiec’s resume. The resume matched Posobiec’s verifiable history, including his university and military experience. It made no mention of CBS News. The apparent resume does list Posobiec working at the conservative talk radio station WPHT in Philadelphia as a “Promotions Assistant” from December 2005 to February 2007, a time when he would have still been studying as an undergrad at Temple University. Michael Smerconish, a TV and radio host who worked for WPHT then, described Posobiec as a “short term radio intern” in an email with Hatewatch and a person for whom he has “zero recollection.”
During the time he kept the words “fmr CBS News” in his Twitter bio, Posobiec recorded and disseminated to his followers a livestream of a speech by billionaire Peter Thiel from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 31, 2016. Thiel, who some have argued is a critic of democracy, gave the speech to explain why he chose to support Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Posobiec targeted the reporters who were with him in the crowd with antisemitic hate.
“Surrounded by (((them))) at Peter Thiel press conference,” Posobiec posted to Twitter with a selfie.
Thiel also appears to have welcomed Posobiec into his apartment, as recently as September 2019. Posobiec appeared there for a fundraiser promoting the Senate run of anti-immigration candidate Kris Kobach. Thiel did not respond to a request for comment about Posobiec.
Posobiec also used Twitter to promote the now-infamous Pizzagate disinformation campaign while declaring on his Twitter bio, “fmr CBS News.” Far-right social media users, including Posobiec, Cernovich, and open white nationalists and neo-Nazis, promoted a lie suggesting that Democratic Party officials were running a child sex dungeon out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant called Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria. During Pizzagate, Posobiec published video footage of himself to Twitter in which he appeared to mimic conducting an investigation from inside of the pizzeria. He has since deleted the video, but it was saved.
A North Carolina man fired off an AR-15 rifle in Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria one month after Posobiec recorded that video. He cited Pizzagate as his motive. Edgar Maddison Welch, who traveled from Salisbury, North Carolina, to Washington, D,C., armed with three firearms, was sentenced to four years in prison in June 2017. Washingtonian magazine reported on May 11 that trolls continue to harass James Alefantis, the owner of that pizzeria, and his staff, nearly four years after Posobiec and other far-right Twitter users promoted lies about them.
“#PizzaGate may be bigger than we suspected,” Posobiec tweeted on Nov. 21, 2016, just days before the shooting.
Pro-Bannon protest featured Jack Posobiec, Richard Spencer and neo-Nazis
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 mingled with a cast of open white nationalists and neo-Nazis while recording a segment for The Rebel Media on the afternoon of April 15, 2017. Both he and they protested against growing pressure to remove Steve Bannon from his post as White House chief strategist. (Bannon resigned four months later during the immediate backlash of the Unite the Right rally.) Hatewatch reviewed multiple videos taken from Posobiec’s appearance on April 15, 2017, outside the White House, archived social media posts, leaked chats from the gaming app Discord, and spoke to four different people who attended it to determine that Posobiec played a pivotal role in executing it.
Video captured by antiracist activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins of One People’s Project shows Posobiec saying, “We want to keep Steve Bannon in office,” in front of a man waving a green “Kekistan” flag. The flag, fashioned after the WWII-era “Reichskriegsflagge,” or Nazi battle flag, was popularized by people who used antisemitic forums on imageboard sites such as 4chan and 8chan. Hatewatch uploaded a side-by-side image of the two flags here in this link to illustrate their similarities. Jenkins’ video also shows Richard Spencer and one of his allies, Greg Conte, protesting side-by-side with Posobiec. Elliott Kline and Patrick Casey of Identity Evropa (now the American Identity Movement) also attended the demonstration.
Posobiec's friend Will Chamberlain of the publication Human Events attended the event. In a conversation with Hatewatch, Chamberlain claimed that Spencer “co-opted” Posobiec’s idea for a protest in support of Bannon.
“It wasn’t even really organized,” Chamberlain said in a phone conversation with Hatewatch. “Jack just literally posted to Twitter for people to show up at the White House. [Spencer] co-opted the event with a bullhorn … it wasn’t like a coordinated thing … it was Richard Spencer imposing himself.”
Hatewatch found archived evidence corroborating Chamberlain’s account of Posobiec promoting the event on Twitter, but his was not the only handle to do so. @TEN_GOP, a pro-Trump sock puppet account operated by Russia and named in the Mueller investigation, also promoted the event. @TEN_GOP frequently boosted Posobiec’s messaging before Twitter removed it. Cassandra Fairbanks, formerly of the Kremlin-backed news agency Sputnik, also boosted the pro-Bannon rally. At the time of the event, she promoted the protest on a blog called Big League Politics.
Regarding Chamberlain’s recollection of Spencer imposing himself on Posobiec, Jenkins of One People’s Project remembered it differently.
“I saw it as a joint thing with Posobiec and Spencer,” Jenkins recalled. “Spencer came with the [neo-Nazi] Clark brothers and Eli Mosley [Elliott Kline of Identity Evropa], [Greg] Conte was also there.”
Sennett, also of One People’s Project, captured video of an exchange between Posobiec and Spencer. Spencer later told Sennett that he could not recall how the event was formed.
“Solidarity – for Steve Bannon,” Posobiec says to Spencer in the video Sennett took.
“Absolutely,” Spencer replies.
Extremist group claimed to be in private contact with Posobiec at time of pro-Bannon protest, leaked chats show
Leaked Discord chats captured by the journalist collective Unicorn Riot show one member of the extreme far-right collective “Anti-Com,” promoting Posobiec’s now-deleted tweets advertising the pro-Bannon protest event to that group, while other members claim to be coordinating with him in its planning.
Anti-Com was a loosely organized group whose membership crossed over at that time with Atomwaffen Division, ProPublica reported in 2017. Atomwaffen Division is a neo-Nazi outfit which has been linked to a string of murders and terror plots. “Doglad,” the pseudonymous Anti-Com member who promoted Posobiec’s tweets about the April 15, 2017, protest event in their Discord chats, also gave voice to conspiratorial, antisemitic views. The poster claimed in his chats to live in “the swamp,” referring to Washington, D.C. and said he once met Brexit leader Nigel Farage at the Trump Hotel. Posobiec also met Farage at the Trump Hotel. He and his wife met him on Feb. 26, 2017, according to archives.
“Not a drill,” Doglad wrote to other Anti-Com members about Posobiec’s tweet on April 13, 2017. “If you’re in the DC metro area please [attend.]”
Doglad posted another now-deleted Posobiec tweet into the Anti-Com Discord channel on April 14, 2017. He claimed that Anti-Com was involved in the actual planning of the Posobiec-backed protest.
“IMPORTANT: #KeepBannon rally tomorrow,” Doglad wrote. “This event now even has our name attached so it is imperative we get boots on the ground. If you can’t go, spam it everywhere online[.]”
Anti-Com discussed being in contact with Posobiec as early as April 4, 2017, according to archives preserved by Unicorn Riot. Below is a transcript of the Anti-Com chat on April 4, 2017, from 4:55 EDT to 5:39 EDT. The timestamps in the chat employ a 24-hour clock and the users’ names are pseudonymous:
Lord Joe, 16:55: We got called out by an 80k+ Twitter account
Webdevanon, 16:55: wew lad
Webdevanon, 16:55: post it
ChippedStones, 16:55: @LordJoe who?
Lord Joe, 16:55: on a positive note never the lest
Webdevanon, 16:55: f--- yes
Lord Joe, 16:55: [Posobiec tweet]
Webdevanon, 16:59: nice
ChippedStones, 17:01: Ayy
ChippedStones, 17:01: Dats pretty giud
ChippedStones, 17:01: He’s part of rebel media too
ChippedStones, 17:01: That’s a large YouTube channel
LordJoe, 17:10: oh and he messaged me back
LordJoe, 17:10: teeheehee
Bard, 17:14: [Meme that reads “Proud to be a c---”]
LordJoe, 17:30: I love my town
LordJoe, 17:31: [Article with headline “Man in Drunk Lives Matter shirt charged with drunken driving”]
James_Coney – LA, 17:33: @LordJoe that’s like if a headline read man in black lives matter shirt charged with killing a n****r
GoGo, 17:35: I just heard someone in the hallway say “hippity hoppity get off my property”
GoGo, 17:36: *they’re here*
Lord Joe, 17:37: Also talking to Jack Posobiec about anticom
Lord Joe, 17:37: @James_Coney – LA
GoGo, 17:39: Does Jack wear hats?
GoGo, 17:39: Send him a hat
Lord Joe, 17:39: This is Jack btw [Posobiec’s Twitter Profile]
Tee CA, 17:42: Nice, posobiec has some sway in conservative circles. Might even get a shout out from Cernovich
Lord Joe, 17:43: and this is before April the 15th
ChippedStones, 17:46: SEND JACK HATS
Posobiec retweeted content from Anti-Com’s account after the event passed, archives show.
Posobiec interviewed the neo-Nazi Clark brothers at pro-Bannon protest
A gunman murdered 11 Jews at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, 2018, and the terror attack brought into focus two men who appeared at the pro-Bannon event alongside Posobiec in April 2017.
Edward Clark, 23, shot himself to death with a Beretta pistol on Theodore Roosevelt Island near Washington, D.C., on the same day that the Tree of Life terror attack took place. He belonged to the Anti-Com Discord server where pseudonymous users claimed to be in contact with Posobiec. He used the handle “Stormer DC” in it. Family members speculated he may have been plotting to shoot people on the day he died.
Police arrested Jeffrey Clark, 30, Edward’s brother, on weapons charges over a week after he praised the alleged Tree of Life terrorist as a “hero” on the white supremacist-friendly social media site Gab. The U.S. attorney’s office released a photograph of a black, windowless bedroom in the Clarks' home with a noose hanging from the ceiling at the time of Jeffrey Clark’s arrest. On Gab, he used the handle @PureWhiteEvil. His pinned post on that website was a meme crafted to look like the first-person shooting game Doom but with the Charleston church shooter as the protagonist, gunning down black women in a black church.
The Clark brothers protested alongside Posobiec at the pro-Bannon event on April 15, 2017, standing behind him, videos show. Posobiec used them in a pro-Bannon propaganda video published by The Rebel Media. Posobiec interviewed Edward Clark about why he joined him at that event. His brother Jeffrey Clark is also in the shot.
“Why are you out here in the hot sun?” Posobiec asked Edward Clark. “What are you all about?”
“Well, I want to keep Steve Bannon because I’m against the airstrikes in Syria. Not because I’m against attacking other countries, I think we should be imperialist. But we should go down to the Panama Canal first,” Edward Clark says to Posobiec in the video.
Posobiec makes a joke about The Rebel Media being a Canadian company before redirecting the conversation to one about borders.
“Are you more interested in the borders of Syria or the borders of the United States?” Posobiec asks Clark.
“The borders of the United States,” Edward Clark says.
Posobiec turns to the crowd of people around him. The video shows members of Identity Evropa, a white nationalist group that has subsequently rebranded as American Identity Movement.
“And I think what I’ve heard from a lot of people today, and we have a diverse crowd out here, a lot of diverse opinions, a lot of diverse people, but I think that’s what’s really combining people, they’re saying why are we looking to fix problems in other people’s countries when we have problems at home, right?” Posobiec says.
“Yeah, exactly,” Edward Clark says.
Daryle Lamont Jenkins of One People’s Project confronted Jeffrey Clark that day when he appeared to be standing directly behind Posobiec. Jenkins asked Jeffrey Clark about a social media post in which he writes the word “n****r” and fantasizes about murdering refugees. Posobiec can be seen drifting in and out of the frame as Jenkins, who is black, challenges Jeffrey Clark on his use of the racial slur.
In May 2017, Posobiec collaborated with the Clark brothers again in filming a Rebel Media segment on Democratic staffer Seth Rich’s murder, according to a report HuffPost published following Edward Clark’s suicide and Jeffrey Clark’s arrest. HuffPost published photos from a source that appear to show Edward and Jeffrey Clark following Posobiec through the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Bloomingdale. Posobiec denied knowing the Clark brothers in a conversation with HuffPost. Sennett of One People’s Project told HuffPost she spoke with Jeffrey Clark about Posobiec. Jeffrey Clark said Posobiec was aware of his neo-Nazi beliefs, Sennett recalled. Sennett repeated her account of events in a conversation with Hatewatch.
Hatewatch attempted to contact Jeffrey Clark for this story but did not succeed in finding him.
White nationalist Jason Kessler accused Posobiec of plagiarism
Posobiec left The Rebel around May 28, 2017. His departure appears to have been first reported by "The Ralph Retort," a YouTube show that interviews white nationalists and neo-Nazis. Ezra Levant, The Rebel Media’s founder, denied knowledge of Posobiec’s links to extremists in an email conversation with Hatewatch. Levant issued this denial to Hatewatch despite the fact that in June 2017, his company offered a public apology over allegations that Posobiec plagiarized content about “antifa” from Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler.
“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 then, adding links to YouTube videos that have since been removed.
Kessler was enmeshed in the world of organized hate before Posobiec was alleged to plagiarize his content. In the same month that The Rebel Media acknowledged Posobiec “copied word-for-word from original work produced by Jason Kessler,” Kessler argued on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that America would have been better off if the Confederacy had won the Civil War.
Posobiec appeared to condone the white nationalist group Identity Evropa terrorizing a black civil rights advocate in a now-deleted tweet dated June 26, 2017, writing, “why shouldn’t white people also be allowed to speak at a racial seminar?” Posobiec’s tweet was written in response to a report in the Miami New Times that Identity Evropa disrupted a talk by black civil rights’ advocate Lutze Segu, “horrify[ing] participants.”
Posobiec becomes Trump’s voice in deflecting from Charlottesville violence
Less than two months after The Rebel issued an apology over Posobiec copying “word-for-word” material from Jason Kessler, Kessler’s white nationalist organizing led to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Beyond the murder of Heather Heyer, white supremacists marched with torches chanting “Jews will not replace us.” Footage from the event made the topic of rising white supremacy an international news story.
Posobiec sought to publicly distance himself from the ideology of white supremacy through tweets in the immediate aftermath of that violence, archives show. He publicly turned on Richard Spencer, calling him a “scumbag.” On the one-year anniversary of Unite the Right, Posobiec urged his followers to donate $8.12 (a reference to the date of the event) to a charity in the name of Heather Heyer, the antiracist demonstrator who was murdered there.
But in the days after the Charlottesville violence, as Trump struggled to control a wave of negative press, Posobiec also helped deflect blame away from white supremacy through tweets and public statements.
“Have you heard what the mainstream media is telling you guys that you are today? They’re out there calling you a bunch of Nazis, a bunch of racists,” Posobiec said at a pro-Trump event in Atlanta on the night Fields murdered Heyer, according to a video he posted to Twitter that has since been deleted. “They’re blaming our president for the violence that went on in Charlottesville.”
Posobiec told The Boston Globe that month that Trump’s retweet of him after Unite the Right was “almost like an endorsement.” He said, “it was almost like he was validating what we, the alt-media, are doing.”
The Navy revoked Posobiec’s security clearance after Unite the Right. Posobiec told NBC News that he believed the Navy did so because he had become “more outspoken on Twitter.” The U.S. military is currently grappling with an influx of white supremacists infiltrating their ranks. The same former active duty intelligence officer who analyzed Posobiec’s service record for Hatewatch described him as being “infamous and hated” among his peers.
On Aug. 24, 2017, a little over a week after Trump’s retweet, OANN hosted Posobiec as a guest to discuss the “deep state.” He described Bannon’s departure from the White House as being a “more of a strategic withdrawal.” He noted that Bannon was “putting together operations” outside of the White House that would benefit the Trump movement. OANN hired Posobiec less than a year later.
Photo illustration by SPLC (Photo of Jack Posobiec by Tyler Tomasello/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News)