This past Monday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) made an appearance on The Alex Jones Show, one of the biggest promoters of nutbag conspiracies in today’s media landscape, to plead his case that he’s not a conspiracy theorist. He further cast doubt on his claim by inviting one of the internet’s most despicable trolls as his special guest to attend President Trump’s State of the Union speech.
As the Daily Beast reported this Wednesday, Gaetz invited as his guest Chuck C. Johnson, a bizarre bottom-feeding mutant who once made headlines for attempting to dox the subject of the UVA campus rape story — who he wrongly identified. Johnson solidified his Holocaust-denial bonafides during an AMA session on Reddit in January of last year when he was asked about the Holocaust and the “Jewish question.”
“I do not and never have believed the six million figure,” Johnson said, referring to the number of Jews killed. He added that he agreed with well-known Holocaust denier David Cole about “Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real.” In a comment typical of Holocaust deniers, Johnson went on to cast the Nazi aggression during World War II as a defensive action against the spread of communism, saying that “German fears of [their own] extermination were not misplaced.”
In 2015, Johnson was banned from Twitter after he solicited donations to “take out” Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, although he claimed his words were taken out of context.
A 2015 piece from Jezebel delved deep into Johnson’s history:
His site, GotNews, is known for stories that make wild, often provably false allegations. Johnson has claimed that both President Obama and Emmanuel Macron are gay, wrongly identified the woman he thought was “Jackie” of the UVA scandal, and has, overall, demonstrated what Forbes called a “disregard for facts.” Gawker once called him “the web’s worst journalist.”
On GotNews, he’s referred to an alleged mob of Hispanic men protesting a Trump rally as “savages,” has repeatedly referred to Black Live Matter supporters as “thugs” and posted numerous stories alleging criminal acts by people he claims were affiliated with BLM. He’s also appeared on a podcast hosted by The Right Stuff, a proudly and profoundly anti-Semitic show hosted by white nationalist Mike Enoch.
Johnson is managing to squirm his way from a fringe internet troll to a fairly well-connected figure in GOP politics. As ThinkProgress points out, last April “he discussed the Trump administration’s plans for a border wall on the phone with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. And in October, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) brought Johnson along to a meeting he had with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Politico reported that during the early days of Trump’s presidency, he was occasionally given printed out stories from Johnson’s website to read.”
When asked if he plans to keep in touch with Johnson, Gaetz said, “He has my number.”
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube