Matt Gaetz Hires White House Speechwriter Fired For Speaking at Conference With White Nationalists

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has added a controversial new member to his staff. The lawmaker announced on Friday that he hired “the talented Dr. Darren Beattie” to work as a speechwriter for his team.

On its face, the hiring isn’t surprising for Gaetz: Beattie is an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, wrote numerous op-ed pieces supporting the president, and he even worked in the White House last year as a speechwriter. The question is: when Gaetz’s office looked at Beattie’s resume, did they notice he was fired from the White House for appearing at an event alongside white nationalists?

CNN’s KFile team reported last year that Beattie spoke at the 2016 H.L. Mencken Club Conference, an event regularly attended by noted white nationalist Richard Spencer. Other conference speakers included writers John Derbyshire and Robert Weissberg (both of whom were fired from the National Review for racism). Beattie spoke alongside Peter Brimelow, founder of anti-immigrant website VDARE.

According to reports, Beattie was asked to resign by the White House after the CNN report, and fired when he refused.

The Daily Beast reached out to Gaetz to ask about the hiring, and the congressman responded that Beattie was not accused of saying anything offensive, but was merely in attendance when “other people said bad stuff.”

[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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