Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Trump Speechwriter Attended Conference With White Nationalists

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 [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.