A White House speechwriter for President Donald Trump was fired last week following media inquiries about his appearance at a conference featuring prominent white nationalists.
Darren Beattie was terminated after the White House learned he had appeared on a panel with British white nationalist Peter Brimelow at the 2016 Mencken Club conference in the Baltimore area, CNN reported Sunday.
Following questions about Beattie and the conference, the White House asked him to step down, The Washington Post reported.
Beattie refused, arguing that he was not a racist and had merely presented academic points at the conference. That’s when he was fired, sources told the Post.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed to CNN on Friday that “Mr. Beattie no longer works at the White House,” but refused to elaborate further.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremists, called the conference a gathering of “white nationalists and pseudo-academic and academic racists.” The theme of the 2016 event was “The Right Revisited.”
Brimelow runs an anti-immigrant website called Vdare.com, where he publishes pieces by “white supremacists and anti-Semitic” writers, per the SPLC. He has described himself as a believer in “racial nationalism.”
In a statement, Beattie said he gave an “academic” talk on “The Intelligentsia and the Right.”
“I said nothing objectionable and stand by my remarks,” he said.