Newly-elected Long Island Congressman George Santos drew criticism this week for attending the New York Young Republican Club’s annual black tie gala in Manhattan with guests from what watchdogs call extremist and white nationalist movements.
Santos, who defeated Robert Zimmerman in the 3rd Congressional District in November, was listed as a “special guest” at the event, held Saturday on the Upper East Side. Featured speakers included U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Donald Trump Jr., and Jack Posobiec, who is known for his role promoting disinformation campaigns like PizzaGate.
Other guests at the gala included members of a far-right Austrian political party called Austrian Freedom Party that was founded by former SS officers and is now based around anti-immigration and identity politics. Also in attendance was Peter Brimelow of Vdare, a group that The Southern Poverty Law Center considers a white nationalist hate group that publishes “nativist” content.
Santos didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Last year, on Lara Trump’s program, The Right View, he said he attended the January 6 rally at the Capitol, but did not enter the building and he argued that the left was curtailing America’s right “to assemble”. He also stated that Donald Trump was his idol and inspiration. According to Santos, “the impeachment did not hurt Trump, it made him stronger.”
The Young Republican’s Club president Gavin Wax told NY1, “We reject the framing and the accusations of the SPLC. These are all sort of baseless accusations that are thrown ad nauseam at anyone who even dares to veer just slightly right of center.”
Greene joked about the Jan. 6 Capitol Riots, saying if she had led them, “we would have won, and it would have been armed.”
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