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Right-Wing Troll Alex Stein to be a Featured Guest at "Unofficial" TPUSA After Party
“Primetime” Alex Stein, a Dallas-based failed reality show contestant turned propagandist troll, will be a featured guest at a Republicans for National Renewal event during Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit on July 23. The event also features sitting state representative and Florida congressional hopeful Anthony Sabatini, Georgia congressional candidate Mike Collins, and Willie Montague, a Florida congressional hopeful whose primary is next month.
If you’re on Twitter, you likely saw the video of Stein heckling AOC on the steps of the US Capitol. Before this, Stein managed to uncritically draw mainstream attention several times this year. Journalist Steven Monacelli has repeatedly warned media of Stein’s transphobia and his pushing of COVID conspiracy theories, and D Magazine implored people to stop “feeding the troll” by giving him the attention he so clearly craves.
Stein has made appearances on Tucker Carlson, Rebel News, and InfoWars; on his own YouTube channel, he has welcomed guests such as January 6 insurrectionist and failed rapper Baked Alaska. Neo-nazi propagandist Ethan Schmidt, who has made videos calling for the return of “Jew hunting,” frequently credits Stein with being a member of his anti-mask club. “Happy to have Prime Time 99 on the Team,” Ethan recently posted on social media, followed by the hashtag he uses so others can track his anti-mask intimidation tactics.
Stein’s mother died of COVID-19 in October 2021, and he often uses his platform to claim she was killed of remdesivir poisoning. I first saw the idea of “remdesivir poisoning” discussed in person in September 2021, as propagandists and spreaders of misinformation had to pivot to explain why the unvaccinated were still dying of COVID — like most things they claim, it is bullshit.
The host of the event, Republicans for National Renewal, is a far right organization responsible for the creation of the America First Caucus, which Punchbowl News described as “some of the most nativist stuff we’ve seen.” Current and former members of RNR have close ties to (including personal membership in) extremist organizations such as Identity Evropa and Patriot Front. They have previously hosted events featuring domestic rightwing extremists such as Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Laura Loomer, Anthony Sabatini, Joe Kent, Jack Posobiec, Blake Masters, and Kari Lake; they also have hosted foreign right-wing populists, including Jaak Madison of Estonia’s far-right EKRE party, Harald Vilimsky of Austria’s FPO party (originally founded by a Nazi), Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Szijjarto of Orban’s far-right Fidesz Party, and Tobias Andersson of the far-right Sweden Democrats (founded primarily by members of the now defunct Keep Sweden Swedish neo-Nazi organization).
The event is co-hosted by the organizer of the Grand Young Party, which made waves at TPUSA’s AmericaFest in December 2021. GYP’s party came under scrutiny for excessive (and potentially underage) drinking, and resulted in the dismissal of TPUSA ambassador Lance Johnston, an on again, off again pal of white nationalist Nick Fuentes.
Republicans for National Renewal regularly hosts events near mainstream GOP events, though at least year’s TPUSA Student Action Summit, they were unable to put together a formal event. RNR still held a last minute gathering in an Embassy Suites featuring Anthony Sabatini, where he filmed a video for the far-right organization American Virtue (then called American Populist Union) to play at their own event the next night. This year during TPUSA SAS, American Virtue will be hosting an event July 22, and Sabatini will also be an in-person speaker for them. This crossover between RNR and AV isn’t much of a surprise, as the two groups previously teamed up and co-hosted a Christmas event during Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest in December 2021.
While Turning Point USA is viewed as a mainstream Republican organization for college students, extremist groups have long used their events to recruit “regular” Republicans into the far-right. In 2017, Groypers (fans of Nick Fuentes and his America First movement) led the Groyper Wars against TPUSA, harassing speakers, mocking politicians they viewed as not being far right enough, and planting seeds of extremism within the group. RN and AV have managed to take over this recruitment pipeline, and unlike Fuentes, the majority of leadership from both groups are allowed to attend TPUSA events — in fact, Republicans for National Renewal had an exhibitor booth at TPUSA SAS last year.
While Turning Point USA claims to not approve of events hosted concurrently with their conferences, nearly every attendee and speaker also attends and/or speaks at the main TPUSA event.
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