DPVA Chair Susan Swecker Calls on Stewart to Fire Aide With New Ties to White Supremacist 'Unite the Right' Organizer Jason Kessler
Corey Stewart's ties to white supremacists and neo-Nazis are being thrust back into the spotlight the day before the first Senate debate between Stewart and Senator Tim Kaine. Yesterday, The Daily Beast, Richmond Times Dispatch, and Washington Post all zeroed in on new revelations that a paid staffer of Stewart's Chairman's office with the Prince William County Board of Supervisors had been a part of a secret Facebook group, where Jason Kessler -- the white supremacist organizer of 2017's Unite the Right rally which turned deadly -- had been plotting a second Unite the Right rally this year.
As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported: "Landrum and the Stewart campaign have repeatedly refused to confirm or deny to The Times-Dispatch that the account in the chat group belonged to Landrum, despite being given multiple opportunities to do so over two weeks."
Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker is calling on Stewart to stop ducking questions and to fire Landrum from his taxpayer-funded job at the county.
"First it was Corey calling a proud white supremacist and anti-Semite his personal hero; now his paid county staff is part of a group coordinating a white supremacist rally. This has to stop," she said. "Corey needs to fire his aide now and explain to the taxpaying citizens of Prince William County why they were footing the bill for an alt-right troll."
Take a look at the coverage heading into the first Senate debate on Saturday:
The Daily Beast: GOP Candidate Corey Stewart’s Staffer Was in Alt-Right Hate Rally Chat - "A staffer for GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart was a participant in a month-long group chat with people planning the next white supremacist Unite the Right rally, leaked chat logs reveal. Brian Landrum is a county government staffer for Stewart, the Republican nominee in Virginia’s Senate race, as well as a volunteer for Stewart’s campaign. Stewart, who won his party’s nomination and an endorsement from President Donald Trump last month, is closely linked with the racist right, and has attended events with Jason Kessler, the organizer of last August’s deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. Stewart has campaigned in favor of Confederate symbols, endorsed white nationalist congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, and slammed his fellow Republicans as “weak” for condemning Nazi violence at Unite the Right. Landrum also has a connection to Kessler: he and Kessler were two of 20 people in a Facebook message group dedicated to planning the next Unite the Right rally, according to chat logs first leaked by the media nonprofit Unicorn Riot."
Richmond Times Dispatch: "Landrum and the Stewart campaign have repeatedly refused to confirm or deny to The Times-Dispatch that the account in the chat group belonged to Landrum, despite being given multiple opportunities to do so over two weeks. ... Landrum eventually stopped responding to phone calls and text messages from The Times-Dispatch. ... Two Stewart campaign aides — Noel Fritsch and Matt Brown — have refused to answer questions about whether Landrum was involved in the chat group. ... The Stewart campaign has offered no explanation for why Landrum was in the chat group where Kessler and fewer than two dozen other members discussed permits, speaker lineups and other strategies for a second rally. In court records, Kessler has described the other people in the Facebook group as “friends.” At various points over the six-week period covered by the chat logs, other participants debated “Jewish influence” and whether pro-white activists should treat Jews as allies or enemies, made jokes about African-Americans being bad tippers at restaurants, and discussed inviting former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke to the second rally."
The Washington Post: "Landrum was recently included in a closed group on Facebook used by a group led by Jason Kessler, the organizer of last year’s deadly white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville who is planning another set of rallies in Charlottesville and Washington next month. Two months’ worth of discussions on the closed Facebook group, from May and June, were posted to the Web by a media organization called Unicorn Riot. In it, Landrum appeared to make one comment, on May 17, that consisted of four laughing-face emojis and the words “what in all f---.” ... Still, his appearance on the Facebook page used by Kessler and his associates has revived questions about Stewart and his flirtation with the extreme fringes of the GOP, even as Landrum dismissed the ties as nonexistent."