GOP Senate nominee Corey Stewart endorsed Paul Nehlen months after he shared white nationalist content
Posted June 19, 2018 5:01 p.m. EDT
(CNN) — Virginia Republican Senate nominee Corey Stewart endorsed anti-Semitic congressional candidate Paul Nehlen months after Nehlen shared content from a prominent white nationalist who praised the violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In a video obtained by CNN's KFile, Nehlen and Stewart can be seen together at an event at the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC. The video, originally a Periscope by far-right commentator Jane Ruby, was taken on November 2, 2017. A photo tweeted by Ruby shows Stewart and his wife posing with Nehlen at the event as well.
"He's going to do great work for us in the Senate," Nehlen says of Stewart in the video. "He's going to do great work for us in the Senate. I'm thrilled about Corey. Yeah. Thrilled about Corey running."
Stewart, responding to Ruby, says he hopes Nehlen is elected and praises him as a "real conservative."
The timing of the endorsement undercuts his current explanation that he had only praised Nehlen prior to him making "bigoted" statements.
The far-right website Breitbart cut ties with Nehlen in December 2017 when it was revealed he had gone on a white nationalist podcast and made anti-Semitic tweets. In January, Nehlen was widely condemned for tweeting that critics of him were Jewish. He was banned from Twitter in February following a racist tweet about Prince Harry's then-fiancée Meghan Markle.
Stewart publicly disavowed Nehlen on June 7, telling The Washington Post that when Nehlen "started saying all that crazy stuff, I wanted nothing to do with him after that."
Stewart told CNN last week that his prior praise of Nehlen had come before Nehlen had engaged in what Stewart described as "those anti-Semitic things, those terrible bigoted things."
But Stewart's November 2017 praise for Nehlen came just a couple months after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that Nehlen supported.
In August 2017, Nehlen retweeted Charlottesville rally organizer and white nationalist Jason Kessler calling the protest an "Incredible moment for white people who've had it up to here & aren't going to take it anymore." Nehlen also tweeted several defenses of the Charlottesville white nationalist rally, where violent protests led to a fatality. Nehlen also retweeted another speaker, white nationalist James Allsup, who called the rally a "huge success."
CNN reported earlier this month that in May 2017, Stewart's campaign paid Nehlen a "fundraising commission" of $759.
"And I hope so, by the way. I hope so," Stewart says of Nehlen's electoral prospects in the November 2017 video. "I feel really at the end of the day, people are really sick and tired of the establishment. They're really sick and tired of the way things are. And they want the Republican Party, they realize that what happened in 2016 is just the beginning of overthrowing the Establishment and putting real conservatives like Paul and myself."
"And Corey," interjected Nehlen.
"And others, thank you very much, into office who are responsive to the people. That's what we need," Stewart adds.
Asked for comment on this story, a Stewart spokesman asked that Stewart be brought on CNN to answer questions.
"Let's get Corey on camera and we can answer all your questions," said campaign manager Matt Brown.