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NBC reported about neo-Nazis and white nationalists at CPAC. At least two of them are from Arizona.

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NBC reported about neo-Nazis and white nationalists at CPAC. At least two of them are from Arizona.

Feb 26, 2024 | 12:52 pm ET
By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
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NBC reported about neo-Nazis at CPAC. At least two of them are from Arizona.
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Neo-Nazi Ryan Sanchez does a Nazi salute while harassing journalist Amanda Moore. Screenshot via X

Neo-Nazis and white nationalists were spotted at CPAC, the conservative conference, and some of them are from the Grand Canyon State. 

The neo-Nazis and white nationalists spotted at the large conservative gathering touted official badges on social media. They were also seen harassing journalists and CPAC speakers. 

Ryan Sanchez, who sometimes goes by the online moniker “Culture War Criminal,” was captured on video giving a Nazi salute while harassing a journalist. Sanchez is formerly a member of the Rise Above Movement, a neo-Nazi fight club whose members have faced federal charges for political violence.  

Sanchez moved to Arizona last year and has been active with other local neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups such as Patriot Front. He is also a supporter of white nationalist leader Nick Fuentes. 

NBC News reported that, at a Young Republican mixer during the event, antisemitic conspiracy theories and so-called “race science” were discussed by attendees who openly identified as national socialists alongside members of Phoenix-based Turning Point USA. The group also included attendees of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. 

Sanchez also was photographed shaking hands with white supremacist Jared Taylor at the event. Taylor has a history of racism going back to the 1990s, when he created a think tank that aimed to create research proving the superiority of whites. In September 2022, the Fuentes-aligned Arizona College Republicans United hosted Taylor. NBC also reported that those in Sanchez’s group openly used the N-word. 

Also present at the event was a groyper known online by the name “ValleyZoomer.” 

Groypers are generally followers of white nationalist Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust-denier who routinely makes antisemitic remarks and has said that Blacks in the South were better off under Jim Crow. Another former groyper leader, Patrick Casey, is the founder of American Identity Movement, a white nationalist group formerly known as Identity Ervopa that has Arizona ties. 

ValleyZoomer posted videos of himself harassing Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union, which puts on CPAC every year. 

“Why is Nick Fuentes not allowed at the event?” ValleyZoomer repeatedly asked Schlapp, who ignores him. 

Fuentes, whose goal has been to push conservatives further to the right, has often been a critic of the event and was subsequently banned several years ago. He also has hosted his own conference featuring white nationalist guests often to compete with CPAC or other conservative conferences. 

ValleyZoomer later used ableist language and a anti-LGBT slur when confronting conservative Sebastian Gorka, who has spoken out against Fuentes. He also harassed a conservative drag queen, calling him “disgusting.” 

CPAC called NBC News’ coverage of the neo-Nazis who attended “a hit piece” and “fake news.”

***CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article included a headline that labeled both Arizona residents as neo-Nazis. It has has been corrected to include the term “white nationalist” to reflect the reporting in the article.

***CLARIFICATION: This story was updated to clarify that Patrick Casey is a former groyper leader, not a current one.