Top GOP influences have been associating with leaders of far-right extremist organizations: report

Top GOP influences have been associating with leaders of far-right extremist organizations: report
Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally. Far-right Oath Keepers patrol Emancipation Park. Credit: Anthony Crider

Members of the Republican Party have been linked the Council for National Policy (CNP) which gives them the opportunity to network with far right extremists who support some of the party's more controversial campaigns, a newly leaked document shows.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which surveils far right extremist groups, recently shed light on CNP describing the organization as "'a shadowy and intensely secretive group [which] has operated behind the scenes' in its efforts to 'build the conservative movement.'"

In fact, the group is so adamant about nondisclosure, the publication reports that "its members are instructed not to reveal their affiliation or even name the group."

However, according to The Guardian, the leaked document which dates back to September 2020 indicates that CNP "put influential Trump administration figures alongside leaders of organizations that have been categorized as hate groups."

The publication reports that the leaked document also contains contact information for most members of the group. Many members of the group are part of organizations deemed hate groups by the SPLC.

Per The Guardian:

"Leaders of organizations listed as anti-Muslim hate groups, including:

  • Frank Gaffney, founder and executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy (CSP)
  • Brigitte Gabriel, founder and chairman of Act For America (AFA)

"Founders or leaders of groups listed anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups, such as:

  • Michael P Farris, president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF)
  • Brad Dacus, founder and president of the Pacific Justice Institute
  • Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council
  • Matthew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel
  • Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association"

While the group typically aims to stay under the radar, back in 2020 the Washington Post obtained footage of CNP executive committee chairman Bill Walton spoke about the 2020 presidential election saying, “This is a spiritual battle we are in. This is good versus evil."

In wake if the latest findings, anti-extremism advocates have expressed concern about the group's innerworkings and its affiliation with influential political figures.

Heidi Beirich, an affiliate of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, released an emailed statement stating that “this new CNP list makes clear that the group still serves as a key venue where mainstream conservatives and extremists mix."

She added that CNP “clearly remains a critical nexus for mainstreaming extremism from the far right into conservative circle."

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