Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana), one of the top-ranking member of the Republican congressional caucus, apparently admitted on Monday that he spoke at a white supremacist event more than a decade ago.
The organisation he allegedly spoke at, the European-American Unity and Rights Organisation, has been championed by white supremacist and former Louisiana State. Rep. David Duke. The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented the group’s ties to extremist statements.
In a more cautious statement issued to multiple media outlets on Monday, Scalise’s spokeswoman said he would have been unaware of the group’s white supremacist messaging if he had indeed spoken there.
“Throughout his career in public service, Mr. Scalise has spoken to hundreds of different groups with a broad range of viewpoints,” said his spokeswoman, Moira Smith. “In every case, he was building support for his policies, not the other way around. In 2002, he made himself available to anyone who wanted to hear his proposal to eliminate slush funds that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars as well as his opposition to a proposed tax increase on middle-class families.”
Smith also condemned the group.
“He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. The hate-fuelled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic,” she said.
The No. 3 House Republican was elected to his current post in June.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.