A conservative group cut ties with right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin on Sunday over her support for an anti-Semitic internet personality, ramping up a growing conservative civil war centered on college campuses.
Malkin’s firing from Young America’s Foundation, whose speakers bureau had booked Malkin for speeches across the country for the past 17 years, marks the latest battle between supporters of Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and more establishment conservative figures.
“Michelle Malkin in no longer part of YAF’s campus lecture program,” a YAF spokesman said in an email to The Daily Beast.
Malkin didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Since October, Fuentes’s fans have been showing up at conservative college speeches and heckling speakers booked by YAF and another, rival conservative group, Turning Point USA.
The alt-right activists, who call themselves “groypers” in a nod to a meme about an obese toad similar to Pepe the Frog, typically ask the speakers questions about United States aid to Israel and immigration in an attempt to push their racist and anti-Semitic beliefs into more mainstream conservatism. On Nov. 10, the activists booed Donald Trump Jr. at a Turning Point event after organizers refused to hold a Q&A.
Right-wing figures like former Fox News host and Trump campaign adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle and podcaster Ben Shapiro have slammed the activists, with Shapiro highlighting Fuentes’s history of bigoted remarks in a recent speech. Among other things, Fuentes marched in the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, and praised what he called a “tidal wave of white identity” after the rally. Fuentes has also used his internet video show, America First, to deny the Holocaust, and claimed that segregation was “better.”
Malkin has praised Fuentes and his fans, calling on establishment conservatives to engage with them. In a speech last week, Malkin called Fuentes “one of the New Right leaders.” In another, she praised Fuentes fans and called their conservative critics “cringe.” She has also frequently echoed their talking points calling for further restricting legal immigration, claiming that continued immigration will doom the Republican Party.
“We’re the majority in this room, and we’re the majority in this country,” Malkin said at a Thursday speech at UCLA organized by YAF.
Malkin’s praise for Fuentes appears to have been too much for YAF, which sent a tweet distancing themselves from Malkin on Sunday without mentioning her by name.
“There is no room in mainstream conservatism or at YAF for holocaust deniers, white nationalists, street brawlers, or racists,” the tweet reads.
Malkin shot back on Twitter, calling YAF the “Keepers of the Gate” and calling Fuentes’s activists “patriotic.”
Malkin’s support is likely to draw more attention to the “groypers,” who have notched at least one other win in their attacks on conservatives. Last week, under pressure from Fuentes, Turning Point chief Charlie Kirk backtracked from a remark he had made calling for foreign students to receive green cards if they graduate from a four-year college in the United States.
But that capitulation apparently wasn’t enough for his critics—on Thursday, Kirk was chased off the University of Houston campus by a group of heckling Fuentes supporters.