The Minnesota GOP Endorsed an Antisemitic Conspiracy Theorist for Senate

Barf Bag: Royce White is a former NBA draft pick who is buddies with Steve Bannon and Alex Jones, has denounced the “Jewish elite,” and described the L.G.B.T.Q. movement as “Luciferian.”

The Minnesota GOP Endorsed an Antisemitic Conspiracy Theorist for Senate

Welcome back to Barf Bag. 

Let me start by saying that all Republican Senate candidates this year are bad because they all stand to threaten our rights and freedoms in some way or another. But one GOP endorsee is well and truly extra bad for his open embrace of homophobia, antisemitism, and election denial.

On Saturday, the Minnesota Republican party held its state convention and delegates voted to endorse former NBA draft pick and current conspiracy theorist Royce White to run against three-term incumbent Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D). Fittingly, White was introduced to the convention in a video message from his buddy Steve Bannon, former advisor to Donald Trump, and, disturbingly, he got two-thirds of the vote, winning the party’s endorsement over Joe Fraser, a former naval intelligence officer.

Speaking at Saturday’s convention, White called Washington D.C. “the swamp,” and claimed that “Klobuchar is at the head of it, all this climate change and the LGBTQ.” He has, in recent years, embraced conspiracies about the covid pandemic, the federal government, and Jewish people, saying Jews were interested in “world control.”Apparently, the GOP isn’t concerned with antisemitism from within its own party.

White was a first-round NBA draft pick in 2012 and played a few games before walking away over his severe fear of flying. His MAGA pivot apparently began after he signed to a 3-on-3 pro basketball league called the Big3 in 2019. The league’s co-founder knew Bannon and White started listening to Bannon’s War Room podcast in 2020; White asked to get introduced the following year. It’s around that time that White wrote messages on his shaved head for Big3 games including “Alex Jones was right,” “deep state,” “who killed JFK?” and “war room pandemic.” A story from two years ago noted that White has appeared on Bannon’s podcast at least 25 times.

Here’s how New York Times opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg described his evolution:

By 2023, White was not just appearing on Jones’s show but also guest-hosting it. Bannon, Trump’s first chief strategist, had become a mentor to him, delighting in his unvarnished machismo. “Women have become too mouthy,” White said on Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. “As the Black man in the room, I’ll say that.” Elsewhere, White denounced the “Jewish lobby” and the “Jewish elite” and called Israel “the linchpin of the new world order.” He described the L.G.B.T.Q. movement as “Luciferian” and wrote that it’s “the brainchild of radical feminists and their cucked men.”

White has never held office and lost his 2022 GOP primary race in Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar‘s district. During that race, he claimed on Substack that Omar is a “National Security State asset” who wears a hijab as a religious disguise to “throw off the passive citizen who doesn’t pay attention.” (He’s facing new scrutiny for allegedly spending 2022 campaign funds on strip clubs, limos, and more than $100,000 in murky wire transfers.)

The Minnesota Senate primary isn’t until August 13, so White isn’t officially the nominee yet, but it sure is gross that convention voters chose him. If White does win the nomination, he’ll face an uphill battle trying to knock off Klobuchar, who won by 24 points in 2018; Joe Biden won the state by 7 points in 2020.

We can only hope that White will join the ranks of the MAGA-fied GOP Senate nominees from 2022 who Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said had issues of “candidate quality.”

  • Trump is reportedly trying to influence who writes the Republican Party platform so he can continue lying to voters about issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. [NBC News]
  • Trump suggested that he could get Russian president Vladimir Putin to release imprisoned U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, but only after he’s elected. Buddy if you’re so powerful, just do it now. [NBC News]
  • After former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said on the 2024 campaign trail that Trump was dangerous and unfit to serve as president, she announced that she will vote for him. She didn’t technically endorse Trump, but it’s only May. [The 19th]
  • At least 66 members of far-right Oregon group founded by Ammon Bundy are running for positions in their local Republican party. [The Guardian]
  • Failed presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a “Freedom Summer” but said cities can’t use rainbow lighting on bridges for Pride Month; they can only use red, white, or blue lights. [Washington Post/Twitter]
  • Another failed presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is now BuzzFeed’s fourth-largest shareholder [Quartz]
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) vetoed a bill to restrict a pesticide that’s toxic to bees by saying it’s “more anti-farmer than it is pro-pollinator.” [Associated Press]

This has been your weekly Barf Bag, thanks for reading! 

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