Ashley St. Clair, a pro-Trump social media personality affiliated with the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA, was photographed at a dinner with white nationalist and anti-Semitic content creators over the weekend. When Right Wing Watch inquired TPUSA about the photographs on Monday morning, a TPUSA spokesperson confirmed that staff had been alerted to the photographs and later provided a statement announcing that TPUSA had severed ties with St. Clair.
“TPUSA is a large national organization that touches hundreds of thousands of people all across the nation. Ashley is no longer one of our thousands of volunteer activists and ambassadors. Charlie [Kirk] and TPUSA have repeatedly and publicly denounced white nationalism as abhorrent and un-American and will continue to do so,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement, adding that St. Clair was not representing TPUSA when she was photographed.
St. Clair produces social media content for right-wing audiences and served as a TPUSA ambassador until today. Yet earlier this year, St. Clair was advertised as a “special guest” at TPUSA’s Teen Student Action Summit and had appeared in conservative media as a TPUSA “brand ambassador” as recently as this month. Brand ambassadors for TPUSA are not on the organization’s payroll, but the organization does provide ambassadors with resources for their activism.
Right-wing personalities congregated in Florida this weekend for a debate between white nationalist and anti-Semitic podcaster Nicholas Fuentes and right-wing operative Jacob Wohl. Kathy Zhu, a pro-Trump social media personality who held the title of Miss Michigan until Miss World America became aware of “offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content” on her social media accounts and stripped her of the title, uploaded photos to her Twitter account of some of the assembled right-wing personalities at a dinner where the former TPUSA ambassador was present. St. Clair told Right Wing Watch she did not attend the event in Florida last weekend, but that she did attend a “diverse dinner” with those pictured.
Among the people pictured in the photo was Fuentes, who attended the 2017 Unite the Right white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. More recently, Fuentes broadcast and then deleted an anti-Semitic rant against a conservative commentator who had denounced white supremacists after the El Paso shooting, calling the commentator a “shabbos goy race traitor” who worked for Jews. Also pictured was Tim Gionet, who is better known by his alt-right persona “Baked Alaska.” Gionet has used his (now-deflated) social media influence to promote extremists including Andrew Anglin of the neo-Nazi blog “The Daily Stormer” and Paul Nehlen, an open anti-Semite who ran for Congress in 2018. Gionet has said that he has “no problem with white nationalists” and was a scheduled speaker at the 2017 Unite the Right gathering.
Right Wing Watch reached St. Clair via Twitter and asked her if she had attended the event headlined by Fuentes and Wohl, if she was aware of their political views when she was photographed with them, and for clarity on her role with TPUSA.
“I did attend a diverse dinner I was invited to in which I got to give voice to some of the anger I’ve had in the past. Some of the people pictured had been vicious to me online and I’m not above confronting people or forgiving people. I’m a strong Jewish woman and don’t need to be told where I can and cannot go,” St. Clair told Right Wing Watch via Twitter direct message. “I’m sick of guilt-by-association twitter journalism that leaves out all context and meaning. The focus of the dinner was civility. I’m not accountable for anything anyone else posts online and I myself have been a victim of bigoted trolling. Attending a dinner for a civil conversation is not an endorsement for anybody’s views.”
St. Clair said she would not be responding to any further inquiries from us. During the process of reporting this story, St. Clair removed a link to TPUSA ’s website from her Twitter bio.
Jerry Iannelli of the Miami New Times reported earlier this month that the Demand Free Speech group organizing the event featuring Fuentes and Wohl had claimed that another ambassador from TPUSA, Zoe Sozo, was going to attend their event. A TPUSA spokesperson told Right Wing Watch that Sozo had been invited to attend the event, but after researching the group, she decided to decline the invitation.
TPUSA has been forced to weed out racists from its ranks over the years. Staffers have been fired for racist text messages, and multiple young activists have been cut off from the organization for racist behavior. Meanwhile, white nationalist groups like Identity Evropa have spoken about targeting the organization as a recruiting ground.