- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza has labeled individuals involved in last summer’s deadly “Unite the Right” demonstration as leftists, an assertion rejected by both the organizer of the event and its headliner, white nationalist and “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer.

Recently pardoned by President Trump, Mr. D’Souza made the claim in an interview published Tuesday conducted in support of “Death of a Nation,” a film he’s releasing this week ahead of the first anniversary of last year’s far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where three people died after fights broke out between counterprotesters and participants including neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

“What I am questioning is the media-left narrative of Charlottesville,” Mr. D’Souza told WND, a conservative news site. “And this is a narrative that basically says that however bigoted the Democratic Party might have been in the past, nevertheless, white supremacy is clearly on the right.”

“There is a remarkable phenomenon that many of the leading white nationalists have deep roots in the left, and this has gone completely unreported in the mainstream media,” Mr. D’Souza added, citing two people directly involved in last summer’s rally — Jason Kessler, the organizer of the protest, and Mr. Spencer, the event’s slated headliner.

Speaking to The Washington Times, both Mr. Kessler and Mr. Spencer denied they’re leftists as Mr. D’Souza suggested.

“It’s true that I draw from left. So does Donald Trump,” said Mr. Spencer, a self-described identitarian. “That said, I’m obviously not a leftist.”

“I’m a moderate and a Trump supporter,” Mr. Kessler said. “I’m a civil and human rights advocate focusing on the under-respresented Caucasian demographic. Besides that I’m utterly unconcerned about the left-right paradigm and peripheral issues that concerns,” he said in an email.

Billed as a rally held in support of a Confederate statue, “Unite the Right” was canceled by authorities after fights broke out on the morning of the event between participants and counterprotesters, thwarting Mr. Spencer’s slated appearance. Two state troopers later died in a helicopter crash monitoring the riots, and Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, died when an Ohio man identified as a “Unite the Right” participant allegedly drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, according to police.

The president caused controversy in the rally’s aftermath by infamously claiming “both sides” were to blame for the violence.

Mr. Kessler intends to hold a “white civil rights” rally near the White House on the first anniversary of “Unite the Right” and is currently awaiting final approval from the U.S. National Park Service. He previously planned to hold a similar rally that same weekend in Charlottesville, but abandoned those efforts last month in lieu of pursuing an event at Lafayette Park in D.C.

Mr. D’Souza pleaded guilty in 2014 to campaign finance fraud and was pardoned by Mr. Trump on May 31. Federal prosecutors had treated Mr. D’Souza “very unfairly,” Mr. Trump said in explaining his pardon.

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