The White House confirmed Monday that it has dismissed a speechwriter who spoke at a 2016 conference often attended by white nationalists.
Darren Beattie, a former visiting instructor at Duke University who signed a petition of academics supporting Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, has confirmed his appearance at the conference but said his remarks did not reflect white nationalism.
CNN reported that Beattie spoke at the 2016 H.L. Mencken Club Conference, an annual gathering that has featured prominent white nationalists such as Richard Spencer.
“In 2016 I attended the Mencken conference in question and delivered a stand-alone, academic talk titled ‘The Intelligentsia and the Right,’ ” Beattie said in an email to CNN. “I said nothing objectionable and stand by my remarks completely.”
Beattie also said it was an honor to serve in the Trump administration: “I love President Trump, who is a fearless American hero, and continue to support him one hundred percent. I have no further comment.”