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Matt Shuham

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously associate editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

Articles by Matt

The executive director of a white nationalist group on Wednesday tweeted pictures of himself posing outside the White House.

Asked about the pictures, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told TPM in an email: “He was one of more than twenty-five thousand people who came to the White House Fall Garden Tour, which is open to the public. Free tickets are made available to anyone who wants to attend.”

This year, the White House held its fall garden tours on Oct. 20 and 21. Casey subsequently confirmed Wednesday that he took the pictures “during a tour.”

Identity Evropa is known for its efforts to recruit students to the white nationalist cause. The group was founded by Nathan Damigo, who helped organize the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year at which one counter-protester was killed by a neo-Nazi.

Damigo is also known for crashing a public film project created in 2017 by the actor Shia LeBeouf. “Shia LeBeouf, you will not replace us with your globalism!” Damigo said, as the event was being live-streamed on the internet. The chants “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us” later became perhaps the most memorable audio from the Charlottesville rally.

Casey works for Red Ice, the white nationalist YouTube channel and website. In September, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) retweeted the white nationalist Lana Lokteff, a Red Ice host who is married to the platform’s founder, Henrik Palmgren. Casey was the subject of an NBC News profile just last month.

One current Identity Evropa member, former Washington State University College Republicans president and local Washington state GOP official James Allsup, once spoke at a Trump rally during the 2016 presidential campaign. He also attended the Charlottesville rally with Identity Evropa.

Earlier this year, as NBC News noted, Allsup addressed Identity Europa’s national conference and celebrated President Donald Trump’s contention that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the Charlottesville rally.

“We were defended by the President of the United States because he knew that our ideas are, in fact, normal,” Allsup said.

This post has been updated.

H/t Jared Holt

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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday called on new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself “from any involvement in Mueller’s investigation,” and said Congress must pass legislation protecting Mueller’s probe.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reacted in real time Wednesday to the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had resigned at President Donald Trump’s request. In a subsequent statement, Schumer called for acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from oversight of Mueller’s probe.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) appeared resigned to Attorney General Jeff Sessions ouster as attorney general, praising his former colleague in the Senate but refraining from criticizing Trump’s dismissal of Sessions.

Read Grassley’s tweet below:

Grassley released a full statement later Wednesday:

“Jeff Sessions is a dedicated public servant and man of honor. I was proud to serve alongside him in the United States Senate for over twenty years. His leadership, integrity and dedication to our country as Attorney General are admirable and commendable. Jeff deserves the thanks of the nation for his service. I remain personally grateful for his valued friendship over the years.

“I look forward to working with Matt Whitaker as he takes the helm of the Justice Department. A fellow Iowan, who I’ve known for many years, Matt will work hard and make us proud. The Justice Department is in good hands during this time of transition.”

This post has been updated.

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Responding to President Donald Trump’s press conference Wednesday, Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) labeled the mainstream press “Allies of the Democratic Party” and said “the way they are conducting themselves today will do nothing to improve their standing with the American people.”

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday called PBS correspondent Yamiche Alcindor’s question about the boost he’s given to white nationalists “racist.” She said later on twitter: “We press on.”

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