Republican lawmakers are distancing themselves from a former Trump White House staffer who has ties to a prominent white nationalist influencer.
Garrett Ziegler has been boasting that he's met with congressional investigators to discuss Hunter Biden's laptop and his overseas business dealings, and he spoke at length to HuffPo about those meetings and his promotion of online posts by Nick Fuentes and other right-wing extremists.
“There are some things that I agree with Nick Fuentes on, and some that I don’t,” Ziegler said, adding that he enjoys sharing provocative material online. "Sometimes you just do it because you think it’s a very, very good thing for the conversation.”
Ziegler is best known for helping to usher Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell and ex-Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne into the White House for an infamously unhinged meeting in December 2020 where they reportedly urged Donald Trump to seize voting machines, and he continues to insist that President Joe Biden stole the election in "multiple ways" as part of a "soft coup."
“I don’t think they could have stolen the election without COVID-19,” he said.
Ziegler's research group Marco Polo published a 644-page report analyzing the contents of Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop, which he said he got from Rudy Giuliani, and accused the president's son of money laundering, violations of foreign lobbying laws and other misdeeds involving sex and drugs, and he claims to have briefed GOP House staffers on his findings.
“I corresponded with [chief of staff] Kevin Eichinger about our report, I never said I spoke to Jim Jordan about it,” Ziegler said. “[Eichinger] said he’d have his team look over it.”
However, Jordan's communications director and counsel for the Judiciary committee said that neither the Ohio Republican nor his chief of staff have met with Ziegler.
“Members of the public call, email and mail our office things all the time,” said Jordan communications director Russell Dye.
At least two members of Congress -- Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) -- have praised his work, saying it showed evidence of crimes, and Ziegler claims he personally met with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) at her office and claims to have spoken to others.
“Congresswoman Greene’s meetings are none of your damn business,” the lawmaker's spokesperson Nick Dyer told HuffPost.
Ziegler was a bit more forthcoming about his relationship with Fuentes, a Holocaust denier who visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago with rapper Ye, and seemed to express support for his anti-Semitic views.
“I support an honest conversation about the power of the [Anti-Defamation League] and organized Jewry,” Ziegler told HuffPost. “I don’t sit at home every day thinking about how to go after organized Jewry.”
Ziegler wants the ADL "dismantled" due to its cooperation with the FBI and compared himself to "paleocon" Pat Buchanan.
“I don’t think I am part of the mainstream,” Ziegler said. "Both [Fuentes] and I have strong objections to the Republican Party, just like Pat Buchanan did, and just like Donald Trump did.”
In addition to his white nationalist views, Fuentes is also known as an "incel," or involuntary celibate.
“I think he needs to get married, I think he needs to settle down,” Ziegler said. “I think he’s immature in some respects, but everything he says is not wrong. That said, I disagree with some of what he says.”