Chuck Johnson, an alt-right figure who has been accused of being a Holocaust denier, met with Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN) and Andy Harry (R-MD) on Wednesday, according to The Daily Beast.
Johnson has been vocal about his doubts on the magnitude of the Holocaust. In 2017, he wrote on Reddit “I do not and never have believed the six million figure.” He continued to say, “ I think the Allied bombing of Germany was a war crime. I agree with David Cole about Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real.”
In 2018, Johnson claimed that he only made those comments to see if he would be banned from the website. He wanted to test “the various tech companies and their commitments to free speech against fake hate speech."
He says he is not a Holocaust denier. He wrote, "I am not now nor have I ever been a Holocaust denier. I unambiguously believe the Holocaust happened, that 6 millions Jews died, that some of those Jews who died in labor camps, gas chambers, ovens, and in all manner of dehumanizing ways."
Nevertheless, Johnson has still run crowdfunding efforts for white-supremacist causes, such as the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
Poe and Harris later made a statement confirming that they met with Johnson to discuss genetic testing and DNA. They claimed to be unaware of his controversial background.
According to a Roe staffer, Johnson was pushing for “increasing the number of sequenced genomes for research.”
Roe’s staffer made a statement saying, “Congressman Roe was not aware of this individual’s viewpoints nor were they discussed during their brief meeting, and had the congressman been aware he would not have agreed to take the meeting. White supremacist and anti-Semitic views are abhorrent and have no place in our society.”
Despite his unsavory past—which includes posting such provocative material on Twitter that he was banned from the site—Johnson has had access to other members of Congress before. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) invited Johnson to the 2018 State of the Union address, and Johnson once arranged a meeting between then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.