Former Donald Trump legal adviser Jenna Ellis hosted on her podcast the self-described ethno-nationalist and antisemite Keith Woods, who collaborates openly with white power extremists.
Ellis’s podcast streams on radio stations across the country. Woods, who is Irish, sympathizes with the anti-immigrant rioters who unleashed chaos last week in Dublin, following news that a man of Algerian origin had stabbed multiple children in a grisly attack. Ellis hosted him in that context.
“There was justifiable anger amongst the population of Dublin,” Woods told Ellis, while speaking about immigration in conspiratorial terms. “The city of Dublin is now 43, 44 percent Irish people. It’s been just a rapid, rapid demographic transformation.”
In October, Ellis pleaded guilty in a Georgia court to a charge of aiding and abetting false statements and writings related to former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. She announced her interview with Woods on the social media platform X on Monday morning. Ellis referred to Woods as an “Irish political activist and journalist” on her show.
Woods appeared as a speaking guest at the white nationalist American Renaissance conference in Tennessee this August. He has appeared on podcasts hosted by members of the antisemitic, pro-Hitler group National Justice Party. He has hosted on his YouTube show the pro-Hitler white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
Ellis agreed with Woods in the discussion, referring to immigrants as invaders.
“It is the government that is allowing an immigrant population to invade the country of Ireland, they do nothing about it,” Ellis said.
Woods has repeatedly defended fascism online and referred to himself as a “raging antisemite.” In his capacity as a self-avowed antisemite, Woods has belittled and trivialized the Holocaust on social media. He has published dehumanizing cartoons about Jewish people and blamed that ethnic group for a myriad of perceived problems, including online censorship.
His appearance on Ellis’s show to speak about Ireland is the latest in a series of events that have raised his profile this year. After Woods was suspended from the original iteration of Twitter, X, Musk’s rebrand of that social media service, gave him his account back. Musk, who has over 160 million followers on X, has also interacted there with Woods directly, elevating his profile significantly. Right-wing internet performer Elijah Schaffer brought Woods onto his show in October.
Ellis, who has over a million followers on X, represents a further mainstreaming of Woods because of her connections to the far-right conservative Christian movement. “The Jenna Ellis Show” broadcasts on American Family Radio (AFR), which is how Hatewatch became aware of it. AFR serves as the “broadcast division” of the anti-LGBTQ+ American Family Association (AFA). The company broadcasts on 180 stations across 30 different states, according to its website. Similar to AFA, AFR describes itself as “a leading organization in biblical worldview training for cultural transformation.” Ellis’s podcast is also hosted by Salem Podcasting Network, which targets “audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.”
Hatewatch reached out to both companies for a comment on the interview but did not immediately receive a response from either. Hatewatch attempted to reach Ellis on X but was unsuccessful. Hatewatch reached out to Woods by email to find out who booked him but did not immediately receive a response.
Once a deputy district attorney in Colorado, Ellis gained approval among conservatives for her outspoken defenses of Trump in 2016 after he won the Republican party’s nomination. She then vociferously supported Trump as a legal adviser to his 2020 re-election campaign. Following his loss, Ellis aided the former president in his effort to remain in power by publicly sowing doubt about the efficacy of vote tabulation and by attempting to persuade lawmakers to overlook the results of the election.
Ellis has deep ties to the Christian right. James Dobson, a Christian-right author and longtime thought leader with ties to the anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom, appointed her as director of the Dobson Family Institute Public Policy Center in 2018. Following a man entering an LGBTQ+ club in Ellis’s native Colorado and murdering five people in November 2022, Ellis used her podcast to claim that the dead were now “reaping the consequences of having eternal damnation.”
Ellis has more recently abandoned her support of Trump and has chosen to publicly promote the presidential candidacy of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Photo illustration by SPLC