The White House has weighed in on a TPM report detailing extensive links between Wade Searle, the digital director for Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and neo-Nazi leader Nick Fuentes. In a statement, Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates described the president’s reaction to the story.
“President Biden is adamant that we deny hate any safe harbor,” Bates said. “No elected leader should ever tolerate these disgusting and pathetic views. Bigotry, white supremacy, antisemitism, and violence are obscene and un-American.”
“The dangerous agenda this person chooses to associate with — including by promoting an extremist who openly praises Nazism and Hitler — could not be more opposed to the fundamental values of our nation,” Bates continued. “As Americans we need to stand up for the rights and dignity of all people, and against this repulsive, weak-minded poison.”
As in his first campaign, Biden has made confronting white supremacy a cornerstone of his re-election bid. Biden has repeatedly described the 2017 Charlottesville white supremacist rally — which Fuentes attended — as a key moment in the battle “for the soul” of America. Earlier this month, Biden delivered a speech where he focused on racist extremism and declared, “the most dangerous terrorist threat to our homeland is white supremacy.”
TPM’s story, which was published on May 14, detailed evidence that Searle has attended a Fuentes rally and indications he was involved in a series of interconnected social media pages with the aliases “ChickenRight” and “Chikken.” The various ChickenRight accounts, which can also be linked to an intern in Gosar’s office, were filled with extremist statements including attacks on Blacks, Jews, and other minorities. As “Chikken,” Searle has also been identified by a defector from Fuentes’ organization as a key member of the neo-Nazi leader’s inner circle.
In the days since TPM’s story was published, Searle and Gosar have faced condemnation and calls for investigation from Democratic members of Congress and a slew of groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Gosar has his own direct links to Fuentes, having spoken at the white supremacist’s signature conference on two different occasions. Amid the backlash, Searle has not responded to multiple requests for comment and Gosar has repeatedly declined to address the story.