DHS Staffer Who Quit Over White Nationalist Ties Attended High Level Policy Meetings

WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 7: The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington, United States on March 7, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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August 31, 2018 9:58 am
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Department of Homeland Security staffer Ian Smith — who resigned earlier this week after a report on his connections with white nationalist groups was published by the Atlantic — was reportedly involved in many White House immigration policy meetings, The Washington Post reported.

According to officials familiar with the matter who spoke with the Post, Smith was not “just some low-level schlub who didn’t do anything.” He worked as an immigration policy analyst for DHS and was involved in efforts to disadvantage legal immigrants who have used government benefits. He also reportedly worked on issues related to refugees and the temporary worker visa program.

Smith also regularly sat in on White House immigration policy meetings, led by Stephen Miller, in place of his boss Michael Dougherty, according to the Post.

The former DHS staffer resigned on Tuesday after the Atlantic reported on the content of emails he sent in 2014 and 2015, in which he appeared to be familiar, if not friendly, with several well-known white nationalists and racists, like Richard Spencer and American Renaissance founder Jared Taylor.

In one email from 2015, described by the Atlantic, Smith was invited to a dinner party at a real-estate agent’s home, who has taken photos with prominent white supremacists. In explaining the details of the event — like what time guests should arrive — the host, Ben Zapp, said “so it’s settled — we know my home shall remain judenfrei,” the German word for “free of Jews” used by Nazis to describe areas where Jewish people had been killed or removed during World War II.

“They don’t call it Freitag for nothing,” Smith responded, according to the Atlantic, using the German word for Friday. “I was planning to hit the bar during the dinner hours and talk to people like Matt Parrot [sic], etc. I should have time to pop by though.”

Parrott is the former spokesperson for the Traditionalist Worker Party, a neo-Nazi group that dissolved this year after its leader Matthew Heimbach was arrested for attacking Parrott when he caught his former spokesperson having an affair with his wife, Jessica Parrott, as TPM has reported. 

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