Did They Meet or Not?

December 22, 2016 4:37 p.m.

A couple days ago I noted news that the leader of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party had met with incoming Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn at Trump Tower recently. The Austrian Freedom Party was founded in the 1950s by former Nazis and in its current incarnation is another far-right nationalist anti-immigrant party like others now on the ascent in Europe. Today though, Trump spokesman Jason Miller denied the two men had ever met and further said that Flynn “strongly disavows groups with such viewpoints.”

That last part got my attention because the Trump campaign has openly embraced similar rightist parties across Europe. That is totally off message from the Trump team’s vocal support of Marine LePenn, UKIP, far-right Italian politicians, etc. I was also frankly suspicious because why would party leader Heinz-Christian Strache lie? It’s a very specific thing to claim. Of course, people make things up all the time. But again, it’s a very specific claim. And, to put it gently, the Trump team has very little credibility on this front.

Matt Shuham looked into it. And while we couldn’t find any direct confirmation of Strache’s meeting, we did find a number of pictures from other members of the Austrian Freedom Party from what they claim was Trump Tower the night of Trump’s election. See them here.

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