An MSNBC political analyst is advising a GOP candidate with ties to white supremacists
Research ››› ››› STEVE MORRIS
MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler, formerly a presidential campaign spokesperson for Ted Cruz who was fired for promoting a fake story, is currently “helping” Chris McDaniel, a Mississippi Republican waging his second attempted primary challenge for a Senate seat. McDaniel has a record of associating with extremists, neo-Confederates, and radio hosts with anti-Semitic views.
MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler reportedly assisting Senate campaign of Mississippi Republican candidate with ties to white supremacy
Chris McDaniel recently announced a primary challenge against Sen. Roger Wicker. McDaniel, a Mississippi Republican state senator, announced his primary challenge against Republican Sen. Roger Wicker on February 28. McDaniel came close to winning a primary over Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) in 2014. [Roll Call, 2/28/18]
Politico: Rick Tyler has been “recruited” by Mississippi GOP candidate Chris McDaniel. According to a report from Politico, McDaniel recruited MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler to “assist him” in his primary challenge against Wicker. [Politico, 2/26/18]
AP: Tyler is “helping” McDaniel. Tyler told The Associated Press on February 27 that McDaniel, who had then not yet officially announced his candidacy, is a “pretty smart guy” and that he is “helping” him:
Republican strategist Rick Tyler told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that he is “helping” McDaniel, although McDaniel “doesn’t have a campaign.”
“He’s a state senator and he’s got a political career and I do political advising, guide people through decisions,” Tyler said. “He’s a pretty smart guy.”
Tyler was a spokesman for the 2016 presidential campaign of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. McDaniel campaigned for Cruz. [The Associated Press, 2/27/18]
Tyler, who is working as a “McDaniel strategist,” defended the candidate’s promotion of a pro-secession white nationalist group. According to a CNN report, the radio show McDaniel hosted for several years promoted the League of the South, a self-described “Southern nationalist” group, as a “favorite” website. Tyler, identified in the piece as a “McDaniel strategist,” attempted to distance McDaniel from the League of the South, claiming he had “never endorsed” the organization and instead highlighting his opponent Wicker’s ties to a different white nationalist group. [CNN, 3/6/18]
Tyler is an MSNBC political analyst. MSNBC hired Tyler as a contributor mere days after he was fired as communications director for Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign for spreading a fake news story about Marco Rubio. Tyler has had at least 20 guest appearances on MSNBC in 2018, including a couple of appearances following the news of his involvement in McDaniel’s campaign. [The New York Times, 2/22/16; Twitter, 2/26/16; Media Matters, 3/1/18]
McDaniel is a Mississippi Republican with ties to extremism
McDaniel has spoken at conferences hosted by a “neo-Confederate group that promotes secessionism.” Mother Jones reported in October 2013 that McDaniel had delivered a speech in August to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a neo-Confederate group that “promotes the work of present-day secessionists and contends the wrong side won the ‘war of southern independence.’” McDaniel later claimed he hadn’t been at the event, saying he had accepted an invitation to speak but ultimately could not attend. Mother Jones also reported the next month that although “McDaniel might have missed the conference because of airline issues, he did deliver the keynote address at an event the group held on June 22.” [Mother Jones, 10/23/13, 11/1/13]
During his 2014 Senate run, McDaniel retweeted a pro-secessionist white supremacist account. According to Talking Points Memo, McDaniel on one occasion retweeted an account that seems to be supportive of both “Southern Nationalism” and the far-right Greek party Golden Dawn, which TPM said “is often labeled fascist or neo-Nazi.” The account, whose location was tagged as “occupied CSA,” or Confederate States of America, also used racial slurs and “regularly” promoted the ideas of “secession and black oppression of whites,” TPM reported. [Talking Points Memo, 2/19/14]
McDaniel accepted money from a KKK-affiliated lawyer and returned it only after public pressure. While running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, McDaniel accepted $1,800 from Carl Ford, a lawyer who represented KKK Grand Wizard Sam Bowers in his trial for the murder of civil rights leader Vernon Dahmer. Ford was “active in the Mississippi Klan in the 1960s,” according to Common Dreams, and the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2010 that he was also an officer of Sons of Confederate Veterans. McDaniel did not return the donation to Ford until after it was publicly reported. [FoxNews.com, 6/19/14; The Daily Beast, 6/17/14; Common Dreams, 6/27/15, Southern Poverty Law Center, 1/28/10]
McDaniel made bigoted and incendiary comments during his time as a conservative talk radio host. McDaniel made a number of bigoted statements on a conservative talk radio show he hosted for several years. He decried the potential payment of reparations, not only declaring he’d refuse to pay taxes but also mockingly suggesting he and his listeners move to Mexico if it came to pass because “a dollar bill can buy a mansion in Mexico.” On other occasions, McDaniel complained of the lack of Muslims being portrayed as villains on TV and in movies and attributed gun violence to the “morally bankrupt” culture of hip-hop. [Mother Jones, 1/7/14, 1/14/14; The Wall Street Journal, 4/10/14]
In early 2018, McDaniel appeared on the show of an “internet radio host” who is a 9/11 truther with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. McDaniel “appeared as a high-profile guest” on the internet show of Ian Trottier, “an ardent conspiracy theorist who believes the 9/11 attacks may have been carried out by the ‘World Zionist Organization,’” according to Talking Points Memo. McDaniel said he “had no idea about Trottier’s views” and didn’t respond directly when asked whether he would’ve done the show if he had known. From Talking Points Memo:
Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) recently joined the radio show of an ardent conspiracy theorist who believes the 9/11 attacks may have been carried out by the “World Zionist Organization,” a curious choice for a man gearing up for another possible Senate run.
McDaniel still maintains that election was stolen from him, and appeared as a high-profile guest on internet radio host and conspiracy theorist Ian Trottier’s show to help his longtime friend and ally Ryan Walters promote his book “Remember Mississippi,” which makes the same argument.
Before McDaniel and Walters joined last week’s show, Trottier talked up the views of his previous week’s guest — Christopher Bollyn, a man who argues that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by an international Jewish conspiracy and has been labeled an anti-Semite by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“Look, whether he’s accurate or not regarding the World Zionist Organization, the likelihood that they have at least a hand in what may have transpired on Sept. 11, 2001 is extremely high,” Trottier said. “I don’t know if that attack was a hoax. I don’t know if the research that he has done is accurate. But when you listen to him speak it sure as heck makes sense and it sounds like he’s right on a trail that leads right back to understanding exactly what happened. Because it’s becoming ever so common that taking the whole Bin Laden angle just doesn’t make any sense.”
Both interviewees told TPM they had no idea about Trottier’s views when they went on the air.
“I’m not into the conspiracy stuff, and didn’t know the host was pushing any of it. I briefly joined the program as a favor to a friend and campaign volunteer who was working to sell his book,” McDaniel said in a text message.
McDaniel didn’t answer directly when asked if he would have done the program if he had known about Trottier’s views.
“I’ve never heard the program. I have no idea what positions they hold,” McDaniel said. [Talking Points Memo, 2/2/18]