- Getty/Business Insider
- President Donald Trump is hosting a social-media summit at the White House on Thursday, but social-media companies like Twitter and Facebook aren’t invited.
- Instead, the White House invited a variety of controversial right-leaning figures.
- From an anonymous pro-Trump meme maker to a popular conspiracy theorist, these are some of the people confirmed to attend Thursday’s event.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The White House is hosting what it’s calling a “social-media summit” on Thursday, but the event won’t include any social-media companies.
Instead, the event will focus on “tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies,” according to President Donald Trump.
The White House declined repeated requests from Business Insider for the full guest list. However, the liberal-leaning nonprofit Media Matters reported that it would include some of the most prominent names in right-leaning internet activism.
While companies like Facebook and Twitter weren’t invited to the White House meeting, a variety of controversial conservative social media stars apparently were: the conservative conspiracy theorist and internet personality Bill Mitchell and a pro-Trump meme maker who goes by the name “Carpe Donktum,” among more traditional conservative voices like Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Here are some of the attendees, according to Media Matters:
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk:
Business Insider’s John Haltiwanger described Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA in a January 2019 interview as such:
Charlie Kirk, the president and founder of the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA, is rapidly becoming one of the most prominent figures on the right today. Kirk’s organization is popular among young conservatives but has been tied to several controversies and faced accusations of racial bias.
Pro-Trump meme maker “Carpe Donktum”
They’re Blockbuster. We’re Netflix. pic.twitter.com/WR28HNql3b
— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) July 11, 2019
Carpe Donktum, a stay-at-home dad from Kansas who doesn’t use his legal name, is pictured above, left, with the One America News Network host Jack Posobiec.
Donktum is a self-described “eternally Sarcastic Memesmith specializing in the creation of memes to support President Donald J. Trump.”
Representatives from PragerU, a far-right YouTube channel:
PragerU is a right-wing YouTube channel operated by the conservative commentator Dennis Prager that specializes in short educational videos with a conservative bent.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes PragerU as such:
Founded as a nonprofit by conservative talk radio host Dennis Prager in 2009, PragerU’s “5 Minute Ideas” videos have become an indispensable propaganda device for the right. More than a few similarly function as dog whistles to the extreme right.
Political cartoonist Ben Garrison was invited — then disinvited by the White House.
Official Statement from Ben Garrison on the White House Social Media Summit pic.twitter.com/4UVbpi0uRK
— GrrrGraphics Cartoons (@GrrrGraphics) July 10, 2019
Garrison, a political cartoonist with conservative views, has been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for producing “blatantly anti-Semitic” cartoons. He was initially invited to the summit by the White House, and then disinvited over those very cartoons.
Project Veritas founder and the conservative provocateur James O’Keefe:
Project Veritas is a nonprofit founded by James O’Keefe, best known for undercover videos and other operations trying to expose liberal bias at media and tech companies – including one incident where the organization appeared to be plotting to place a fake story in The Washington Post, the newspaper reported.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee:
- Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn is a hard-line conservative who has supported a variety of controversial policies in the past, from a 2009 “birther” bill to Trump’s 2017 immigration ban.
Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida:
Similarly, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is a Republican with extremely conservative views on gun policy, immigration, and climate change.