Remember Joesph Schmitz? It’s not a name that rolls off the tongue and he’s not exactly a major player — or, rather, he’s not a major in the news cycle. He is, however, a very important figure in the Muscovian Candidate’s entourage. See, Schmitz is the Teflon Don’s foreign policy adviser.
He also thinks that Turkey is working with Native Americans to produce nuclear weapons. And while that particular outhouse of insanity is too deep to get into here, we’re going for a swim in another septic tank — in particular, the allegations of Antisemitism that have surfaced against him.
At this point, if someone admits to being involved with the Trump campaign in any way, you’re on epistemologically solid grounds in assuming they’re at least sympathetic to Neo-Nazi goals or white supremacism.
“I fired the Jews”
The major accusation against Schmitz comes from several individuals in the intelligence community and elsewhere. Reportedly, Schmitz, named as one of five advisors by the Trump campaign in March, stands accused of bragging that he fired Jewish people during his time as a Defense Department inspector general.
The allegations come from three individuals involved in the intelligence community. Schmitz has called the allegations “lies,” but while he’s claimed they’re not real, the three individuals making the remarks stand by them.
Daniel Meyer is one of those individuals. A senior intelligence community official, Meyer subsequently described the allegations in his complaint file:
His summary of his tenure’s achievement reported as ‘…I fired the Jews.’
Meyer declined to comment on the statement. In his complaint, however, he cited another former top Pentagon official, John Crane, as the source and witness to the remarks. Crane worked with Schmitz during Schmitz’ tenure as inspector general from April 2002 to September 2005.
Meyer also noted in his complaint that Schmitz downplayed the extent of the holocaust, and in one jaw-dropping accusation, Meyer wrote:
In his final days, he allegedly lectured Mr. Crane on the details of concentration camps and how the ovens were too small to kill 6 million Jews.
In a statement on Tuesday, Schmitz called the allegations “completely false and defamatory,” and added in his email that:
I do not recall ever even hearing of any ‘allegations of anti-Semitism against [me], which would be preposterously false and defamatory because, among other reason(s), I am quite proud of the Jewish heritage of my wife of 38 years.
In a later phone interview, he confirmed that his wife wasn’t practicing, but she was “ethnically Jewish” because her maternal grandmother was Jewish.
Neither Meyer nor Crane offered any additional comments. Meyer because the case is still pending, and Crane because he wasn’t required to testify under oath:
if, when, I am required to testify under oath in a MSPB hearing, I would then comment on the statement attributed to me by Mr. Meyer.
He added: “Statements made under oath at the request of a judge in a formal proceeding would also remove my vulnerability to any potential civil litigation by any party involved in the filings by Mr. Meyer.”
The third individual, David Tanenbaum, is an army engineer at the Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in Warren, Michigan. In a letter this week to acting Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine, he noted that the “Antisemitic environment” that forced him out began under Schmitz:
The anti-Semitic environment began under a prior Inspector General, Mr. Joseph Schmitz.
Schmitz has his defenders, including his former assistant at the inspector general’s office, Bart Buechner, although given the history of the Trump camp and it’s blatant refusal to reject white supremacist, I’m not inclined to give Schmitz the benefit of the doubt.
This isn’t helped by Schmitz’ strong anti-communist stance, especially since “cultural Marxism” is a (frankly idiotic and absolutely nonsensical) “politically correct” way for right-wingers say “Jews” without having to say “Jews” and the “Jewish Bolshevism” conspiracy theory has been camping out on the far right for a long time now.
In 2015, Schmitz gave a speech to law students at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in a forum, where he railed against communism and implied that President Obama was a communist. Jeffrey Kahn, a professor who also spoke at the forum, noted that his encounter with Schmitz left him “chilled.”
Kahn commented in a column on the Dallas Morning News that, “I had witnessed a ghost from McCarthy’s staff.” A rather fitting comparison given most Trump Superfans — like Ann Coulter — adore McCarthy and come from the John Bircher school of “thought.”
“What foreign policy advice will Schmitz whisper into Trump’s ear?” Kahn wrote. “I shudder to think what he might do in such a position of power.”
At this point, if you’re not at least somewhat sympathetic to the causes and goals of white nationalism and white supremacy, you shouldn’t be voting for Trump. Because that’s exactly who he’s been courting, right from the start.
Feature image via Crooks and Liars