Ms. McHugh was fired in 2017 for posting anti-Muslim tweets. She has since renounced white nationalist viewpoints and shared her emails with the Southern Poverty Law Center to “make amends,” Michael Hayden, the law center reporter with whom she initially shared the messages, said in an interview.
Cas Mudde, a political scientist at the University of Georgia who studies right-wing movements, said in an email that “both VDARE and American Renaissance are white nationalist organizations, who provide a pseudo-intellectual veneer to classic racism.”
Mr. Miller’s familiarity with white nationalist thinking predated his job as a staff aide to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. As a college student at Duke University, he worked with a fellow student, the white nationalist Richard Spencer, to arrange for Mr. Brimelow to speak on campus.
The emails show a continued interest after his arrival in Washington. In the emails to Breitbart, a topic Mr. Miller referred to more than once was the Coolidge-era immigration law, which ushered in 40 years of lowered immigration levels with discriminatory quotas aimed at southern and Eastern Europeans, whom critics at the time attacked as nonwhite.
On Aug. 4, 2015, Mr. Miller sent an email supporting the idea of a complete ban on immigration “like Coolidge did,” an apparent reference to the 1924 law. As a result of those new “national origin quotas,” immigration fell by half and the arrival of Italians and Poles fell by 90 percent. Mr. Sessions, Mr. Miller’s boss at the time, was known for publicly praising Coolidge’s policies because he believed they had bolstered American wages.
The 1924 law endorsed by Coolidge is widely seen today as a symbol of bigotry and was heavily influenced by the eugenics movement and theories that immigrants from Eastern and southern Europe were genetically inferior.
Coolidge “embraced the so-called scientific argument that Italians and Eastern Europeans were genetically inferior,” Daniel Okrent, whose book “The Guarded Gate” is a history of the 1924 law. The law was disturbing, he said, not only because of the theories behind it but also because it prevented hundreds of thousands of would-be migrants from escaping the Nazis.
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