Kris Kobach, Steve Bannon, and Rick Oltman all have ties to white nationalism. Next week, all three will also participate in a conference organized by anti-immigrant group The Remembrance Project (TRP).
Last week, the Center for New Community reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement official Barbara Gonzalez would speak at TRP’s conference. A recently updated schedule of conference events indicates Bannon and Oltman have joined the ranks of conference speakers. Bannon is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on Saturday, November 4. And Oltman will speak on Sunday, November 5, before conference attendees march to the White House.
Following his departure from the White House, Bannon returned to his position as executive chairman of Breitbart News. Trump’s former chief strategist has boasted his news outlet is a “platform for the alt-right,” which was recently underscored by an illuminating report by Buzzfeed. Since leaving his position in the Trump administration, he has resumed his role of leading a far-right crusade against the so-called Republican establishment, lending his support to extreme candidates like Roy Moore in Alabama and Kelli Ward in Arizona. Paul Nehlen, who is waging his second consecutive primary challenge against House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), has previously received support from Bannon’s Breitbart and TRP and will also speak at next week’s conference.
Oltman, who the conference agenda notes is a co-founder of TRP’s “National Day of Remembrance,” is a former employee of anti-immigrant groups Federation for American Immigration Reform and Californians for Population Stabilization. He has also attended events organized by the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens and the group has claimed he is a member. Last year, Oltman was involved with the group Californians for Trump. Oltman currently writes for U.S. Inc., the philanthropic foundation of John Tanton, the white nationalist founder of the contemporary organized anti-immigrant movement. Oltman has also written over a dozen articles for Tanton’s quarterly journal The Social Contract. His most recent contribution being the Winter 2017 article “Importing Diseases – Mass immigration endangers our national well-being.”
Beyond helping the group found its annual Day of Remembrance, Oltman has attended other TRP events. When TRP leader Maria Espinoza held a cynical and highly politicized press conference at San Francisco’s Pier 14, mere weeks after Kate Steinle was tragically shot and killed, Oltman was there. So was anti-immigrant activist and TRP California State Co-Director Robin Hvidston, who will also be speaking at next week’s conference.
Oltman, Espinoza, and Hvidston reunited several months later in Washington, D.C. to attend the U.S. Inc.’s annual Writers Workshop. At the event, the three of them and other TRP activists posed for a photograph alongside Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Kobach, despite his unsuccessful track record in court, remains one of the anti-immigrant movement’s most prominent, legal minds. He will also speak at next week’s conference on November 2. Last year, Kobach introduced then-candidate Trump at TRP’s conference in Texas. Kobach was an advisor to the Trump campaign and was rumored for a cabinet position. Now, Kobach is pursuing a gubernatorial run in his homes state of Kansas, but maintains ties to the administration. He continues to serve as a surrogate for the administration in media appearance, notoriously defending the president’s baseless claim that millions of fraudulent votes prevented him from winning the popular vote last year.
Kobach also co-chairs the President’s voter fraud commission with Vice President Pence. Since its creation, the commission has received well-justified criticism for its blatantly partisan aims to reduce voter turnout. More recently, it has come to light that Kobach is flouting transparency standards by using a personal email address for commission business; Democrats on the commission aren’t being informed of the body’s activities; and its work may have stopped altogether due to multiple lawsuits.
This year, Kobach also began writing regular columns for Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News. Media Matters reported that Kobach’s column this week plagiarized portions from false, years-old anti-immigrant chain letters and cited an article by white nationalist Peter Gemma.
White nationalism continues its welcome presence at Breitbart. And it’s also been invited to next week’s Remembrance Project conference.