DHS condemns ‘violent extremism’ after emails link former official to white nationalists

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is condemning “violent extremism” after emails reportedly emerged linking a former agency official to white nationalists.

“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to combating all forms of violent extremism, especially movements that espouse racial supremacy or bigotry,” DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a statement reported by The Atlantic on Tuesday.

“This type of radical ideology runs counter to the Department’s mission of keeping America safe.”

{mosads}The agency issued the statement as The Atlantic reported on emails it said it had obtained showing former DHS policy analyst Ian Smith in contact with several known white nationalists as they planned various events.

One email thread reportedly included the address for white nationalist leader Richard Spencer along with Smith. Another was sent to Smith as well as American Renaissance founder and self-identified “white advocate” Jared Taylor.

According to The Atlantic, Smith was also included as a recipient in emails alongside Marcus Epstein, who entered an Alford plea in 2009 for assaulting a black woman in Washington, and Devin Saucier, an editor at American Renaissance, a white nationalist publication.

{mosads}Epstein emailed a group on June 3, 2016, including Smith, Taylor and Saucier, inviting them to an “Alt-Right Toastmasters” event, according to The Atlantic. In a previous email, Epstein said the event was timed to coincide with a visit from Wayne Lutton, the editor of the white nationalist publication The Social Contract.

A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the magazine that Smith attended the event.

Smith told The Atlantic in an email, “I no longer work at DHS as of last week and didn’t attend any of the events you’ve mentioned.”

According to The Atlantic, Epstein declined to comment and Saucier did not respond to a request for comment. 

The emails did not show Smith or Spencer interacting and Spencer told the magazine over the phone, “to my knowledge, I’ve never met Ian Smith. I get roped in to all sorts of email conversations, I receive too many emails every day for me to respond to.”

Tags Department of Homeland Security Ian Smith Jared Taylor richard spencer white nationalism

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