Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Two Republican Congressmen Spotted With A Holocaust Denier — Again

Two Republican members of Congress who have previously been condemned for associating with a Holocaust denier were present with him again at one of their fundraisers in July, Mother Jones magazine reported Thursday.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California attended a fundraiser on a yacht in his home district for GOP colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida on July 20. Also there was “alt-right” activist and internet troll Charles C. Johnson, who wrote on Reddit last year that he did not believe that the Auschwitz gas chambers were real or that six million Jews died. Johnson says he is not a Holocaust denier and that his statement was made as part of a free speech exercise. But he also helped raise funds for the legal defense of neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin. He has also been permanently banned from Twitter for violating its rules against harassment.

Both members of Congress have claimed that their prior run-ins with Johnson were unplanned.

Rohrabacher was slammed by the Anti-Defamation League for inviting Johnson to a meeting at the Capitol in November with Sen. Rand Paul to discuss the fate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Rohrabacher replied in a letter to the ADL that Johnson wasn’t invited to the meeting, but wasn’t asked to leave.

Gaetz was similarly criticized for giving Johnson a guest ticket to the State of the Union address in February. Gaetz said after the speech that he didn’t know Johnson, who he claimed had just shown up at his office and asked if he had an extra ticket.

Sources told Mother Jones that Johnson and Rohrabacher were present at the Gaetz fundraiser. “I don’t remember who invited him there,” a Rohrabacher campaign official said. When asked if Gaetz had invited Johnson, a Gaetz campaign official said, “It was a private event and you’re welcome to check the FEC reports to see who donated.” Johnson did not respond to Mother Jones’s requests for comment.

The fundraiser was co-hosted by California PR guru Alfred Balitzer on his yacht. Johnson has said that Balitzer, who is Jewish, is his “mentor.” Johnson has also written on Facebook that Rohrabacher is his “friend and adopted congressman.”

“It is completely inappropriate for a sitting U.S. member of Congress to continue to knowingly associate with an anti-Semite and bigot like Charles Johnson,” an ADL spokesman said.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

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.