President Donald Trump held a meeting with a delegation of far-right activists last week, according to a disturbing report from The New York Times. He sat quietly as members of the delegation, led by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, attacked transgendered people and women serving in the military, say three sources with knowledge of the event.
Although the president remained mum during last week’s hour-long meeting, the sources said, at one point he appeared surprised when the group accused White House aides of preventing his supporters from getting jobs inside the White House.
It’s not at all common for the spouse of a sitting Justice to have this type of meeting with a president, and some Trump associates say it was inappropriate for Thomas to request a meeting with the “head of a different branch of government,'” The Times reports.
Thomas was joined by two representatives of groups that frequently lobby for bigoted anti-immigrant policies, according to Right Wing Watch. Frank Gaffney of the organization Center for Security Policy, designated as a hate group by The Southern Poverty Law Center and Rosemary Jenks of the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA also attended alongside Connie Hair, chief of staff for Rep. Louie Gohmert.
The meeting was punctuated with comments that claim “gay marriage was destroying America,” and other comments that would also offend most of us.
Thomas’ political activity has raised concerns about conflicts of interest for her husband, according to The Times. She also garnered notoriety after hiring conservative activist Crystal Clanton, who was ousted from the organization Turning Point USA after texting:
“I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like f*ck them all … I hate blacks. End of story.”
A former columnist for The Daily Caller and former employee of The Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think-tank, Thomas founded a conservative advocacy group that later merged with The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty, Right Wing Watch reports.
But those aren’t the only uncomfortable facts about this woman. In 2017 she handed out numerous awards to James O’Keefe, Sean Hannity, Gaffney, and a number of other right-wing activists. Thomas and her husband have appeared at a right-wing conference in Washington, where anti-LGBTQ rhetoric predominated in many presentations. Not only that — but Thomas and the late Phyllis Schlafly, an avowed hater of women’s rights got together in 2013 and discussed “cultural Marxism,” a conspiracy theory that has its roots in anti-semitism and white nationalism. Originating in the 1990s, the theory asserted Jews were trying to degrade Western society to benefit themselves.
But that’s not the only conspiracy theory she’s spouted, The Times reports. On the social media, she shared one that suggested billionaire George Soros was somehow working against Trump and that Democrats committed voter fraud during last year’s mid-term elections. And in October, she promoted a completely inaccurate post about the immigrant caravan heading towards the U.S.
As explained by Snopes, the post claimed that Mexican police were brutalized by violent members of the caravan. But the photo used so prominently in that post was from a completely unrelated incident that occurred in 2012.
It’s disturbing but unfortunately not surprising that Trump listens to this hateful woman. After all, she mirrors his own sentiments.