A former staffer with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) who resigned Tuesday after ties to white nationalists were exposed reportedly attended policy meetings at the White House.
Ian Smith, who emails reveal was in contact with a number of white nationalists, was at multiple policy meetings regarding immigration, The Washington Post reports.
He did not provide significant input at the meetings and was mainly there as a placeholder for his boss, an official told the Post.
Smith resigned prior to the emails being published by The Atlantic earlier this week. DHS distanced itself from his reported views.
“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 to The Hill.
“This type of radical ideology runs counter to the Department’s mission of keeping America safe,” he added.
In one email, Smith responded to a group dinner invitation that the host indicated would be “judenfrei,” a German word used by the Nazis to indicate an area that no longer contained any Jewish people.
Smith was also in email chains with Richard Spencer, a leader in the white nationalist "alt-right" movement. While the two apparently never met, Smith was reportedly very familiar with Spencer’s work.
Smith denied to The Atlantic that he attended any of the events.
While at DHS, he focused mainly on immigrant and refugee policies. Though he didn’t hold a senior position, he “wasn’t just some low-level schlub who didn’t do anything,” a government official told The Washington Post.
The White House and Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.