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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 2, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 36
Trump campaign: A nest of bigots
Section One
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Trump campaign: A nest of bigots

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Donald Trump's presidential campaign has become a nest of racist, anti-Gay bigots, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The prestigious civil rights organization - which won national fame for the lawsuit that bankrupted the Aryan Nations - revealed in an August 31 statement that key members of Trump's team are affiliated with a secretive right-wing group called the Council for National Policy (CNP).

'The CNP is an intensely secretive and shadowy group of what the New York Times once described as 'the most powerful conservatives in the country,' SPLC reports.

'It is so tight-lipped that it tells people not to admit their membership or even name the group. Revealing when or where the group meets, or what it discusses, is also forbidden. The organization, which can only be joined by invitation and at a cost of thousands of dollars, strives mightily to keep its membership rolls secret.'

According to SPLC, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and campaign CEO Steve Bannon are both members of CNP.

Other CNP members include:

o Neo-Confederate Michael Peroutka, who for years was on the board of the white supremacist League of the South;

o Jerome Corsi, a strident Obama 'birther' and the propaganda hit man responsible for the 'Swift Boating' of John Kerry;

o Joseph Farah, who runs the ultra-right conspiracy theory website WorldNetDaily;

o Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel leader who has worked to recriminalize Gay sex; and

o Philip Zodhaites, another anti-Gay activist, who is charged with helping a self-described ex-Lesbian kidnap her daughter from her former partner.

These real bigots coexist in CNP with what SPLC describes as 'a smattering of wealthy financiers, Congressional operatives, right-wing consultants, and Tea Party operatives.'

In a May 2014 report, quoted in their most recent statement, SPLC charges that CNP 'provides an important venue in which relatively mainstream conservatives meet and very possibly are influenced by real extremists, people who regularly defame LGBT people with utter falsehoods, describe Latino immigrants as a dangerous group of rapists and disease-carriers, engage in the kind of wild-eyed conspiracy theorizing for which the John Birch Society is famous, and even suggest that certain people should be stoned to death in line with Old Testament law.'

SPLC admits it does not know how Conway and Bannon may have been affected by their extremist CNP colleagues, but they already carry plenty of right-wing baggage.

Before being hired to run the Trump campaign, Conway managed a PAC supporting anti-Gay candidate Ted Cruz. The PAC was funded by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, who later converted to a pro-Trump stance and apparently brought his protégé Conway into the Trump orbit.

Bannon has always been associated with the extreme right. When he took over the Breitbart news operation, he converted it from a kooky right-wing blog to an even kookier Alt-Right mouthpiece that specializes in nationalist, racist, anti-Gay, and anti-Semitic stories.

Among the outrageous headlines run by Breitbart while Bannon was in command:

o 'Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew'

o 'There's No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews'

o 'Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy'

o 'Lesbian Bridezillas Bully Bridal Shop Owner Over Religious Beliefs'

'At a time of extreme political polarization in our society,' SPLC warns, 'in the middle of an ugly presidential contest which has featured an almost unsurpassed record of ethnic, racial, and sexual insults and lies, Americans deserve to know who their ostensible leaders are mixing with as we collectively decide our country's future.'

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