House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said Tuesday that his 2002 appearance at an event hosted by a white nationalist group was “a mistake I regret.”
The new statement from Scalise also removed all doubt about whether he had actually spoken at the meeting.
“Twelve years ago, I spoke to many different Louisiana groups as a state representative, trying to build support for legislation that focused on cutting the wasteful state spending, eliminating government corruption, and stopping tax hikes,” Scalise said. “One of the many groups that I spoke to regarding this critical legislation was a group whose views I wholeheartedly condemn.”
“It was a mistake I regret, and I emphatically oppose the divisive racial and religious views groups like these hold,” he continued. “I am very disappointed that anyone would infer otherwise for political gain.”
Scalise, a Catholic, also noted that white supremacist groups are typically “vehemently opposed to my own personal faith and I reject that kind of hateful bigotry.”
“Those who know me best know I have always been passionate about helping, serving, and fighting for every family I represent,” he concluded. “I will continue to do so.”