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Kellyanne Conway, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and current counselor to the president, promoted an interview on 60 Minutes with “alt-right” media personality Mike Cernovich in yet another dalliance between the Trump team and the “alt-right.”
In an April 3 tweet, Conway promoted Cernovich’s March 26 appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes, calling the interview “a must-see ratings bonanza” and linking to Cernovich's blog on Medium:
Cernovich’s allegiance to the “alt-right,” a self-descriptor for a faction of the white nationalist movement, has been repeatedly documented. In 2015 he explained, “I went from libertarian to alt-right after realizing tolerance only went one way and diversity is code for white genocide.” Additionally, in a series of since-deleted tweets, Cernovich declared that “white genocide is real” and “white genocide will sweep up the [social justice warriors].” Cernovich also traffics in sexist rhetoric, having claimed that “date rape does not exist” and “misogyny gets you laid" and said that people who "love black women" should "slut shame them” to keep them from getting AIDS.
Cernovich has also helped popularize numerous conspiracy theories, including the “Pizzagate” story that claimed an underground child sex trafficking ring was run out of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor and involved top Democratic officials. Despite widespread debunking, Cernovich recently claimed that the restaurant was a place "where a lot of pedophiles meet." He often uses conspiracy theories to weaponize his social media following against his critics, such as when he baseless claimed satirical video editor Vic Berger was a pedophile after Berger published videos mocking Cernovich.
The 60 Minutes exchange that Conway promoted has been panned for, among other reasons, revealing how unprepared mainstream media are to accurately report on new pro-Trump media figures incubated in the “alt-right” fever swamps during the 2016 presidential election.
This is not the first time Trump officials have promoted Cernovich and his “alt-right” media colleagues. Additionally, Conway’s tweet comes one day after Cernovich published a blog baselessly suggesting that Susan Rice, the national security advisor under President Barack Obama, illegally unmasked the names of Trump administration officials.
UPDATE: Language in this piece has been changed to clarify that although "unmasking" can be illegal, Cernovich's Medium post admitted that Susan Rice reportedly had authorization to "request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports."