Another House GOP Leader, NRCC Chair Richard Hudson, is Latest to Amplify Deadly White Nationalist and Antisemitic Conspiracy Promoted by Elon Musk, Exemplifying Threat to Our Safety and Democracy
The owner of the social media site formerly known as Twitter – and the most-followed account on the platform – continues to promote to millions of followers the baseless, white nationalist, and antisemitic replacement conspiracy theory, falsely claiming in a February 2 tweet that the Biden administration has a “strategy” to “get as many illegals in the country as possible” to create a “permanent majority.”
“That is why they are encouraging so much illegal immigration,” Musk falsely claimed. “Simple, yet effective.”
That lie is the basis of this white nationalist conspiracy theory, which paints non-white immigrants, Jewish people, and others as an existential threat. Not only is this antisemitic conspiracy theory a pernicious falsehood that was once pitted against Jewish citizens by their government in Nazi Germany, it has in more recent years been tied to mass terror attacks both across the globe and in the U.S, including the Tree of Life mass shooting in 2018, at an El Paso Wal-Mart in 2019, and a Buffalo supermarket in 2022.
“Put simply, this is the ideology of racist murderers,” historian Kevin Kruse wrote following Musk’s tweet. “And now Elon Musk has embraced it completely,” pushing this lie to more than 170 million users on his platform. He continued promoting these conspiracy theories this week, responding with “illegal voter importation” to a tweet complaining about migrant shelters.
But in a continued reminder of the disturbing and new territory we are likely to see in an election year where the GOP has made crystal clear it sees immigration and the border as an issue to exploit rather than address, Musk’s claim was endorsed by several of prominent conservatives, including the chair of the influential committee that works to elect Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Now we know why Biden opened the border on his first day in office and refuses to do anything about it,” Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) tweeted in response to Musk, the Chairman of the National Republican Coordinating Committee. Not only is the characterization of the border as “open” a persistent point of GOP disinformation that lures migrants to the border, but as America’s Voice said in a recent statement, the idea that there is a plot by elites to do so lures armed white nationalists to take action.
“As chair of the NRCC, Hudson’s job is to raise millions of dollars to fund television ads,” Judd Legum reports at Popular Information. “Under his leadership, many of these ads have demagogued about the dangers of immigration. Nevertheless, Hudson has secured large checks from numerous corporations that publicly present themselves as champions of a path to citizenship for Dreamers and other immigrants.”
Vivek Ramaswamy, a failed 2024 GOP presidential candidate now angling to be chosen as indicted former President Donald Trump’s running mate, also chimed in to defend Musk from pushback. “When they call this a ‘conspiracy theory,’ what they mean to say is: shame on you for noticing,” Ramaswamy wrote.
These are not one-off endorsements. This white nationalist conspiracy theory, once confined to the fringe right, has been embraced by mainstream Republicans. Research from America’s Voice Political Associate Yuna Oh found that elected GOP members from Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson on down have amplified this dangerous rhetoric, citing it in official hearings at least nine times in these first few weeks of 2024 alone. America’s Voice’s ongoing tracking has found 430 tweets just this year from GOP electeds who have employed the white nationalist and antisemitic replacement and “invasion” conspiracy.
Most recently, Republicans weaponized it to advance the sham (and, so far, failed) impeachment effort against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Meanwhile, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC working to elect Republicans to Congress, echoed the great replacement theory in its recent advertising on Facebook.
“States have a constitutional right to self-defense….especially when they are being invaded by illegal immigrants encouraged by the selective enforcement of laws by the Biden Administration,” the ad read.
This rhetoric has already resulted in a horrific body count and continues to pose a threat to non-white, Jewish, and immigrant communities. The FBI has announced the recent arrest of Paul Faye, a Tennessee man who, outraged over an alleged “invasion” of the U.S. by migrants, sought to join the recent border convoy to shoot and maim. This convoy, chock full of neo-Nazis, Jan. 6 insurrection supporters, and an assortment of bigoted conspiracists, was also endorsed by GOP officials.
“In December, Faye unwittingly told undercover FBI employees that he was hoping to coordinate with militias from Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee and had been in touch with a member of the North Carolina Patriot Party, which court documents describe as a militia, about traveling to the border around Jan. 20,” Vice reported. “The patriots are going to rise up because we are being invaded,” Faye is alleged to have told an undercover agent. “We are being invaded.”
Further real-world dangers are playing out elsewhere in the country as well. In New York, a colored-shirt nationalist street gang led by failed Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa shockingly assaulted – on live television – a man they believed to be a migrant. “His mother back in Venezuela felt the vibrations,” Sliwa claimed to FOX News host Sean Hannity. “He is sucking concrete. The cops scraped him off the asphalt. He’s on his way to jail.” But police said the man assaulted by the street gang is from New York City. Sliwa didn’t let the facts stop him from urging continued anti-immigrant vigilantism.
“We’ve got to take 42nd Street back, Sean,” he continued. “These illegals think they own this street. They think they rule the night. This is our country. If they can’t abide by the rules, then we’re going to kick them back from where they came.” The episode begs the question if the infamous red sported by Sliwa’s gang is the new silver.
“Horrifically, we know the exact cost in human lives these bigoted conspiracies can leave in their wake,” said America’s Voice Political Director Zachary Mueller. “Every time an elected official publicly embraces the rhetoric of the replacement and invasion conspiracy, they are contributing to a climate where someone with hate in their heart and a gun in their hand believes they should take matters into their own hands.”