Angelo Carusone speaks to NPR about the the implications of Trump's social media summit

From the July 11 edition of NPR's Morning Edition:

RACHEL MARTIN (HOST): The White House is hosting a social media summit today. President Trump is known for his passionate use of social media, specifically Twitter, which he often deploys to rally his base. The guest list at the event will feature some members of Congress and several of his social media fans. It's a who's who of conservative personalities, some associated with the alt-right.


JASMINE GARSD (REPORTER): While the White House has been mum about the guest list, some people have tweeted out their invitations. Many of them are part of the Trump Twitterverse, conservative social media personalities who orbit around Trump's bright Twitter star. 


GARSD: Angelo Carusone from the liberal nonprofit Media Matters believes in free speech, but he says some of the guests at the summit alarm him.

ANGELO CARUSONE (MEDIA MATTERS PRESIDENT): “There's a couple establishment players there, but for the most part, they're far-right figures, they're extremists, and a lot of people with ties to white nationalism.”

GARSD: [Bill] Mitchell and Carpe Donktum disavowed racism to NPR. But Media Matters also points to other guests, like Charlie Kirk from Turning Point USA, an organization that has been accused of racist viewpoints. Here's Carusone again.

CARUSONE: “When you start to bring in all these individuals that are connected to or have relationships to these communities, what they do is they go back and they validate -- 'Oh yeah, I met with the president. I was at the White House. You know, we're a part of this.' The normalization of this is the part that concerns me.”

GARSD: And as the president rallies his base ahead of the 2020 elections, Carusone wonders about the effect of elevating these voices on the right.


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