Darren Beattie worked as a White House speechwriter under the Trump administration for a short time before he was fired in 2018 because journalists revealed that he spoke on a panel with a group of white supremacists.
Now he has been rehired by the Trump administration as the head of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, which is an agency that helps preserve sites related to the Holocaust. He is appointed to a three-year term that will last into the next administration.
The move drew an immediate backlash from Jewish organizations, most notably the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who issued an open letter to the Trump administration last week calling on them to rescind Beattie’s appointment.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO of ADL called the appointment “shocking,” in a statement.
“It is downright shocking that the White House has appointed Darren Beattie, who once attended an event with white supremacists and participated in a panel discussion with white nationalist Peter Brimelow, to serve as a member of a commission specifically created to help preserve the memory of Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust,” Greenblatt said.
Greenblatt pointed out that Beattie spoke at a white-supremacist conference, where he participated in a discussion with Brimelow, the creator of the anti-immigrant website VDare.
“As we have said before, there is no place in any presidential administration or government commission for an individual who would attend and participate in such well-known racist events. It is absolutely outrageous that someone who has consorted with racists would even be considered for a position on a commission devoted to preserving Holocaust memorials in Europe. We urge the administration to rescind his appointment immediately,” Greenblatt said.
According to the New York Times, Beattie responded to the ADL’s press release, stating that they are a group that protects Democrats, not Jewish people.
“The ADL pretends to be an organization that protects Jews, but it really exists to protect Democrats. As a Jewish Trump supporter, I consider it an honor to be attacked by the far-left ADL and its disgraced leader, Jonathan Greenblatt.” A White House spokesman declined to comment,” Beattie said.
In addition to his affiliations with well-known racists, Beattie is generally a problematic figure.
After Beattie’s appointment was announced, Huffington Post journalist Christopher Mathias went back through the speechwriter’s social media posts to find some disturbing comments. Among them included one post in which he praised Jeffrey Epstein for not being a “p*ssy.”
Earlier this year, Beattie posted a white-nationalist rallying cry on Twitter, writing, “If white people are targeted as a group, they must learn to defend themselves as a group.”
Beattie’s appointment is not set in stone, as it could be reversed by the incoming Biden administration. It could also be rescinded by the Trump administration, but since they were forced to fire him for the scandals in question two years ago, it is unlikely that this appointment was made accidentally or without knowledge of his history or associations.
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