Paul Nehlen, a congressional candidate hoping to use his appeals to white nationalists to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan in the 2018 Republican primaries, has lost the support of Breitbart, the conservative website that backed him.
But the record shows that Nehlen’s opposition to Ryan and steadfast support of President Trump was praised and amplified not only by Breitbart, but by Trump himself:
Thanks to @pnehlen for your kind words, very much appreciated.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2016
During the 2016 race between Nehlen and Ryan, the challenger was a vociferous supporter of Trump, in contrast to Ryan, who publicly denounced Trump’s criticisms of the Khan family, whose son was killed in the Iraq War.
“Thanks to @pnehlen for your kinds words, very much appreciated,” Trump wrote on August 1, 2016 — a week before the congressional district primary — in a tweet that was retweeted more than 5,000 times
“My pleasure, Sir. Just want to Make America Great Again,” Nehlen replied.
Trump never explicitly endorsed Nehlen, who went on to lose to Ryan 84%-16%.
In the past few months, Nehlen has come under heavy scrutiny for his social media activity, tweeting praise for a book written by a man known as “the neo-Nazi movement’s favorite academic,” accusing a conservative critic of being “a shill for the sheckles [sic],” and tweeting memes commonly associated with the “alt-right.”