Trump Speechwriter Attended Conference With White Nationalists by the Forward

Trump Speechwriter Attended Conference With White Nationalists

Image by Getty Images

Updated 5:00 p.m.

A speechwriter for President Trump no longer works at the White House after CNN reported Sunday that he had attended a conference popular with white nationalists.

CNN revealed that speechwriter Darren Beattie had been listed as speaking at the 2016 H.L. Mencken Club Conference, named after the legendary early 20th-century journalist whose posthumously published diary revealed him as a racist and anti-Semite. Fellow speakers at the conference, according to its schedule, included the white nationalist Peter Brimelow and two writers who were fired from the conservative magazine National Review for racism. Richard Spencer, perhaps the country’s best-known white supremacist, has participated in the conference multiple times in recent years.

Beattie’s White House email address was active as of Friday night, CNN reported; that night, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told CNN that Beattie “no longer works at the White House.”

The Washington Post reported that Beattie, who periodically worked on projects with White House senior advisor Stephen Miller, had refused to resign, arguing that the points he made at the conference were uncontroversial.

“In 2016 I attended the Mencken conference in question and delivered a stand-alone, academic talk titled ‘The Intelligentsia and the Right,’” Beattied told CNN in an emailed statement on Saturday. “I said nothing objectionable and stand by my remarks completely. It was the honor of my life to serve in the Trump Administration. I love President Trump, who is a fearless American hero, and continue to support him one hundred percent. I have no further comment.”

Beattie worked as a professor of political science at Duke University during the 2016 election and was one of few professors to have publicly supported Trump during the campaign and accurately predicted his election victory.

Beattie’s PhD thesis, which according to his Mencken Club bio was largely completed in Germany, was about the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who was a member of the Nazi Party. Beattie wrote in his thesis that Heidegger’s Nazi affiliation was “highly troublesome” but argued that studying his philosophy was still worthwhile.

Contact Aiden Pink at or on Twitter, @aidenpink


Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink is the Deputy News Editor for the Forward. Contact him at or on Twitter, @aidenpink .

Trump Speechwriter Spoke To White Nationalist Meetup

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Trump Speechwriter Attended Conference With White Nationalists

Thank you!

This article has been sent!