Trump Adviser And GOP Congressmen Gave Pro-Trump Interviews To White Nationalist Radio Host At The RNC

Trump Adviser And GOP Congressmen Gave Pro-Trump Interviews To White Nationalist Radio Host At The RNC

James Edwards Celebrates Going “Mainstream” By Appearing At RNC With “All-Access” Media Credentials

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Several members of Congress and a Trump campaign official gave pro-Trump interviews to white nationalist leader James Edwards and his “pro-white” radio show The Political Cesspool during the Republican National Convention. Edwards is a David Duke acolyte and he “has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Edwards pointed to his attendance at the convention as evidence that he and his radio program are going “mainstream.”

The Political Cesspool Is A White Nationalist Radio Show That Is “Unequivocally Pro-White”

The Political Cesspool States It Represents "A Philosophy That Is Pro-White." The Political Cesspool is a Tennessee-based radio program hosted by James Edwards. The program's statement of principles says it represents "a philosophy that is pro-White." One of its principles reads, "We wish to revive the White birthrate above replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage of Whites in the world relative to other races." [ThePoliticalCesspool.org, accessed 7/24/16]

Edwards During RNC Show: “We're Unequivocally Pro-White. This Is A Show That Advances The Interests Of European-Americans.” [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16]

Edwards’ Racist Views: "MLK's Dream Is Our Nightmare," "Interracial Sex Is White Genocide." Edwards has written numerous racist posts on his Political Cesspool website. He’s written that “For blacks in the Americas, slavery is the greatest thing that ever happened to them. Unfortunately, it's the worst thing that ever happened to white Americans”; “MLK's dream is our nightmare”; it’s “perfectly legitimate” to believe that “interracial marriage should be illegal”;  and “Interracial sex is white genocide.” [Media Matters, 3/1/16]

Civil Rights Groups: Edwards Promotes "Neo-Nazis, Holocaust Deniers, Raging Anti-Semites And Other Extremists." The Anti-Defamation League wrote that Edwards and his program showcase “a variety of anti-Semites, white supremacists, Holocaust deniers, conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant leaders.” The Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that "James Edwards has probably done more than any of his contemporaries on the American radical right to publicly promote neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, raging anti-Semites and other extremists." [Anti-Defamation League, 6/6/08; The Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 7/24/16]

Edwards Is An Acolyte Of David Duke. Edwards says he is a “friend” and admirer of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, writing: “I can honestly tell you that there is not a single negative thing that I can say about the man." Edwards has recorded media with Duke and said the pro-Trump radio host has “been supporting and collaborating with our radio show since its very inception.” [Media Matters, 3/1/16; YouTube.com, 8/11/13

Edwards: "Trump Will Be The First Republican Nominee That I Have Ever Voted For." [Media Matters, 3/1/16]

Edwards Interviewed Donald Trump Jr. And Attended February Trump Rally "As A Fully Credentialed Member Of The Media.” Edwards boasted in February that he had "attended a Donald Trump rally in Memphis on Saturday night as a fully credentialed member of the media and enjoyed the unique experience of being able to air a live broadcast of The Political Cesspool Radio Program from inside the press pen while the event was in full swing." He also taped an interview with Donald Trump Jr. which aired on Liberty Roundtable with host Sam Bushman, with Edwards appearing as a guest and questioner. Bushman is Edwards' syndicator and friend, and he guest-hosted The Political Cesspool on February 27 while Edwards reported from the rally. The Edwards interview and credentials sparked a media firestorm. The Trump campaign subsequently ran for cover and claimed no knowledge of Edwards’ views. [Media Matters, 3/1/16, 3/2/16, 3/3/16]

James Edwards Goes “Mainstream” By Appearing At Republican National Convention With “All-Access” Media Credentials

White Nationalists Have Endorsed Trump And His Policies. The white nationalist movement has been celebrating the Republican National Convention and nominee Donald Trump. They attended his convention and other campaign events and have used Trump and the RNC to recruit followers, fundraise, and spread their message. The Trump campaign has had a series of troubling interactions with the white nationalist movement, including giving Edwards press credentials, failing to condemn white nationalist support, and retweeting them. The Republican convention also repeatedly promoted white nationalist tweets on the arena ticker. [Media Matters, 7/21/16; Time, 7/22/16]

Edwards Celebrated That The Political Cesspool Is Going “Mainstream” By Attending Events Like The RNC. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16]

Edwards Says He Received An Invitation To “Join Us And Broadcast Live From The 2016 Republican National Convention.” Edwards said he was personally invited to attend the RNC:

JAMES EDWARDS: It all started back on April the 26th of this year, I received an email entitled, “Please join us and broadcast live from the 2016 Republican National Convention.” [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16]

Edwards Said He Had “All-Access” Media Credentials For The Convention. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16

Edwards Claims His Guests “Didn’t Know Who We Were,” Says Media Will “Attack” His Interviews With “Lies.” He also predicted that the “ludicrous, malicious, disgusting maggots, the sniveling little worms” in the media will “come down" on him for his interviews with members of Congress. Edwards claimed that he had also been invited to the Democratic National Convention but declined. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16, 7/23/16, 7/23/16]  

Trump Surrogate And Four GOP Congressmen Appeared On “Pro-White” Radio “To Sell People On Voting For Donald Trump

Edwards: “The Political Cesspool Interview[ed] A Half A Dozen Members Of The United States Congress.” Edwards stated that his show interviewed “a half a dozen members” of Congress at the RNC. During his three-hour program, Edwards aired interviews with Reps. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Tom Cole (R-OK), Warren Davidson (R-OH), and Ted Yoho (R-FL). All of the Republican officials promoted Trump’s candidacy to The Political Cesspool audience. Edwards later indicated he wasn’t able to air all of his recorded interviews due to time constraints. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16, 7/23/16

Edwards Interviewed Trump Adviser Gary Berntsen, Who Was There “To Sell People On Voting For Donald Trump.” Edwards conducted an interview with Gary Berntsen, a former CIA officer who said at the start of the interview that he is “a surrogate for the campaign” and he’s “working with their policy shop.” Berntsen promoted Trump’s positions on immigration. He concluded that he’s on Edwards’ program “to sell people on voting for Donald Trump right now” and asked Edwards’ listeners for donations to the campaign and urged them to vote:

GARY BERNTSEN: Look, the point is I’m not here to sell books. I’m here to sell people on voting for Donald Trump right now and I would ask everybody who’s an American citizen anywhere in the world, donate to the cause. Make sure you get your absentee ballots in. Do everything you can to help us make America great again. [DonaldJTrump.com, 2/12/16; FoxBusiness.com, 7/22/16; Reuters, 3/15/16; Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16]

Edwards Interviewed Rep. Rob Bishop About His Support For Trump. Edwards’ interview with Bishop was part of his co-hosting duties with Sam Bushman for Liberty RoundTable and also aired on that program. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16; LibertyRoundTable.com, accessed 7/24/16

UPDATE: Rep. Bishop’s Office Responds To Edwards' Interview. A spokesperson for Rep. Bishop’s office responded to a request for comment from Media Matters with the following statement: “Rep. Bishop was invited to appear briefly on Sam Bushman’s Liberty Round Table program, not the Cesspool show you mention. We’ve never heard of Edwards, his radio show, or his views. I know that a James Edwards asked Rep. Bishop a question during the segment, but again, It was Bushman who Bishop had agreed to speak to.” [Email to Media Matters, 7/25/16]

Edwards Interviewed Rep. Tom Cole About His Support For Trump. During the interview, Edwards and Cole agreed that this election is the most important one of their lifetime and it’s critical to vote for Trump. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16]

UPDATE: Rep. Cole’s Office Responds To Edwards' Interview. A spokesperson for Rep. Cole's office responded to a request for comment from Media Matters with the following statement: “While Congressman Cole was walking on press row to do a couple of scheduled interviews, he was approached by James Edwards and asked an innocuous question that gave no indication of Mr. Edwards views on race.  Congressman Cole had never heard of Mr. Edwards who simply said he had a radio show in Utah.  Congressman Cole was unaware of Mr. Edwards views on race and certainly does not share them.” [Email to Media Matters, 7/25/16]

Edwards Interviewed Rep. Warren Davidson About His Support For Trump. During the interview, Edwards and Davidson criticized the media for purportedly covering for Hillary Clinton. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16]

Edwards Interviewed Rep. Ted Yoho About His Support For Trump. Yoho pitched Edwards’ audience on the merits of voting for Trump. [Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16]

Yoho Defended Steve King’s Pro-White Remarks. As The New York Times noted, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) recently “questioned the historical contributions of nonwhite ‘subgroups’ during an appearance on MSNBC on Monday, igniting swift backlash online.” Edwards asked Yoho if the media took his remarks out of context; Yoho defended King and claimed his remarks were taken “out of context, absolutely.” Edwards responded that he was happy King didn’t apologize for praising “the founding stock of this nation.” [The New York Times, 7/18/16; Liberty News Radio, The Political Cesspool, 7/23/16

*Media Matters’ Joe Strupp contributed reporting to this piece.

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