White nationalist Nick Fuentes booked a hotel across the street from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the National Harbor for a racist, post-CPAC conference Saturday.
The venue is a Residence Inn by Marriott. Hatewatch spoke with a hotel staff member prior to the event in a phone call on the afternoon of March 4. Hatewatch asked if Nick Fuentes and the America First Foundation were scheduled to hold an event that day, and the staffer confirmed. When asked about the event’s start time, the employee put Hatewatch on hold and came back to say it was a “private event.”
Hatewatch reached out to Fuentes for comment via email on Saturday evening but did not receive a reply.
Fuentes, who has repeatedly praised Hitler, sought to keep the location secret, saying on Telegram that he would provide information event location and time following former President Donald Trump’s Saturday evening speech at CPAC.
Fuentes leads a movement of “groypers,” a reference to a far-right meme of a cartoon toad. He has stated his goal is to to remake the Republican Party into “a truly reactionary party."
He has hosted the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) each year at a venue near CPAC since 2020. These gatherings have brought together white nationalists with prominent hard-right lawmakers. In 2021, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and former congressman Steve King (R-IA) addressed Fuentes’ supporters in an AFPAC event in Orlando, Florida. In 2022, Rep. Gosar, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Idaho Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin, and Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers spoke at a Fuentes event in Orlando, Florida.
Fuentes also had dinner with Trump and Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Nov. 22, 2022. Fuentes worked with Ye on his 2024 presidential campaign. Fuentes' work culminated in taking Ye on extremist conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' program, where he and Ye repeatedly praised Hitler. Fuentes has since left Ye's campaign.
Fuentes repeatedly referred to the Saturday event as a “rally,” rather than AFPAC. Fuentes stated in a Telegram post on Thursday that he decided to postpone AFPAC’s fourth conference because “we got no play here in DC.”
CPAC ejected Fuentes and several of his followers from the conference on Thursday evening, CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp confirmed. Hotel staff ejected several groypers, without Fuentes, from the conference on Saturday. One member of the group was holding what appeared to be a flag of some kind.
The event is Fuentes' first major public outing since several of his close collaborators left his group.
CPAC appeared to have fewer attendees than previous years. Most speeches featured rows of empty seats in the main ballroom.
Schlapp faced accusations he sexually assaulted a male staffer on Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign. Schlapp denied the allegation and has not been charged.
High-profile Republicans like former Vice President Mike Pence skipped the event after the accusations came to light.