Conservative group cuts ties with Michelle Malkin
The conservative group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) has cut ties with right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin after she voiced support for an alt-right activist who caught national attention last week for disrupting conservative events.
The decision to cut ties came after Malkin praised 21-year-old broadcaster Nick Fuentes and his followers, who call themselves “groypers.” Fuentes has a history of making anti-Semitic and racist comments, and the mainstream right has sought to distance themselves from him and his supporters.
In a speech last week, Malkin praised Fuentes as “one of the New Right leaders,” according to The Daily Beast. She was promptly removed from YAF’s speakers list.
Malkin, a former Fox News contributor, was one of YAF’s featured speakers for 17 years.
“YAF gives a platform to a broad range of speakers with a range of views within the mainstream of conservative thought,” YAF said in a statement on Sunday. “Immigration is a vital issue that deserves robust debate. But there is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists.”
Malkin criticized the group’s move and defended her ties with Fuentes.
“The Keepers of the Gate have spoken. #AmericaFirst is not ‘mainstream’,” she said in a tweet Sunday. “My defense of unjustly prosecuted Proud Boys, patriotic young nationalists/groypers & demographic truth-tellers must not be tolerated.”
“SPLC is cheering,” she added, referring to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal activist group.
It is also unclear if Malkin will be invited to CPAC in 2020. The American Conservative Union, which hosts the event, said it is still determining its lineup.
But it would appear unlikely that Malkin would be asked to speak again after she angered conservatives with a speech in 2019 attacking a number of fellow Republicans and criticizing the “ghost” of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Fuentes has gained attention for disrupting a number of recent events held by mainstream conservatives and supporters of President Trump. He heckled Donald Trump Jr. at an event last week where the president’s son was promoting his new book.
Fuentes attended the “Unite the Right” Charlottesville, Va., rally in 2017 and has a history of making anti-Semitic remarks, including questioning the Holocaust.
In an interview with The Hill, Fuentes denied that he is anti-Semitic, racist or a white nationalist.
“I’ve never advocated for a white ethno-state,” Fuentes said. “Multiracialism is here and we have to live with it and [the question is] how will we do that?”
Updated at 4:35 p.m.
Jonathan Easley contributed.