Northwest Florida congressman Matt Gaetz provided white supremacist Chuck Johnson with a ticket to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday, the Daily Beast reported.
Johnson is the founder of the far-right GotNews website as well as WeSearchr, a crowdfunding website which has raised money for the legal defense of the founder of the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer. Infamous for his trolling within the online political world, Johnson has published the home addresses of New York Times reporters and was permanently banned from Twitter in 2015 after soliciting donations to “take out” a Black Lives Matter activist.
Gaetz told the Daily Beast that he doesn’t have a preexisting relationship with Johnson, and that he gave Johnson the State of the Union ticket after Johnson showed up at his Washington office Tuesday. Gaetz said the ticket had been intended for his father, former Florida State Senator Don Gaetz, but that the elder Gaetz wasn’t able to attend due to bronchitis.
In comments to the Daily Beast, Johnson said he likes Gaetz because he has “that fuck you mindset.”
“It was a wild time,” Johnson told the Daily Beast. “I certainly did a bunch of jumping out of my chair. Trump was straight up gangster.”
In 2015, shortly before he was banned from Twitter, Johnson used the racial slur nigger in more than a half-dozen tweets in less than twelve hours. In a 2016 interview with racist podcast Fash the Nation, Johnson argued that blacks are dumber than whites.
“If we’re all the same, you would have statistically expected that if blacks are fifteen percent of the population, they would make up, you know, fifteen percent of honor students,” Johnson said. “And yet that’s never the case. And so you have to believe that every single school on the planet, and in every single environment that’s run by white people, that they’re systematically discriminating against blacks for some reason. Or you have to believe the more obvious thing which is that they’re dumber.”
Johnson has also questioned widely-accepted figures of deaths during the Holocaust, arguing that “numbers of 250,000 dead in the camps from typhus are more realistic.”
Gaetz’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.