How white nationalists came to love Trump, who they once thought was a ‘secret Jew’
Many claimed the New Yorker was secretly Jewish, or in thrall to Jewish interests; others saw him as a blowhard and egomaniac, a mercenary who was in it only for himself. On web forums, blogs and online radio shows, they complained about his highly visible associations with “non-whites” in his reality shows and his beauty pageants.
What happened? How did the scattered legions of American white supremacists coalesce around a showboating New York mogul? I tracked this two-year evolution through thousands of posts and comments on scores of blogs and forums used by the most ideological racists. What these posts show is the story of a U.S. presidential candidate who slowly but relentlessly overcame widespread distrust and contempt, as white nationalists came to believe he was their candidate—or at least the best candidate they could realistically expect.
Perhaps surprisingly, it wasn’t Trump’s initial campaign announcement about Mexican “rapists” that cemented his support: It was his steady, consistent push for an anti-immigration platform, one of the central policy pillars of the nationalist right. And as white-nationalists began to rally around Trump as its closest political ally in a generation, they began to detect what members called “wink-wink-wink” communications from the candidate. There was his retweet of bogus murder statistics that exaggerated black crime; two separate retweets of a racist Twitter feed called @WhiteGenocideTM; and the interview that sealed the deal: the moment on CNN when—just days before the Louisiana primary—Trump dodged the question of whether to repudiate the endorsement of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, which one commenter on the white nationalist site Stormfront called “the best political thing I have seen in my life.”