- The Washington Times - Friday, August 31, 2018

Ian Smith, a former Department of Homeland Security analyst who recently quit his job amid questions over his ties to white nationalists, attended multiple immigration policy meetings at the White House convened by President Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller, said government officials familiar with his work.

Mr. Smith attended several White House policy meetings during his time with the Trump administration, occasionally appearing in place of his supervisor, the DHS assistant secretary for border, immigration and trade policy, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The White House meetings happened prior to Tuesday this week, when The Atlantic reported that leaked emails put Mr. Smith in contact with several prominent white nationalists before joining the Trump administration in 2017, including alt-right leader Richard Spencer and self-described “white advocate” Jared Taylor.

Mr. Smith declined to comment on the correspondence when contacted by both outlets, but DHS officials said he immediately quit after being asked if the emails were his, The Post reported.

The White House referred questions to DHS when reached for comment, the report said.

“The Department of Homeland Security is committed to combating all forms of violent extremism, especially movements that espouse racial supremacy or bigotry,” DHS spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton said in a statement. “This type of radical ideology runs counter to the Department’s mission of keeping America safe.”

The Post reported that Mr. Smith’s leaked emails were not “explicitly racist” but nonetheless raised concerns by linking him to white nationalists including Mr. Spencer and Mr. Taylor, among others, as well as organizations and individuals associated with Mr. Spencer’s National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, and Mr. Taylor’s “American Renaissance,” a self-described “race-realist” group responsible for a both monthly white nationalist publication and annual conference. 

According to The Post, Mr. Smith worked until recently as a immigration policy analyst for DHS focused on refugee issues and temporary work visas. Prior to then, he wrote dozens of articles for online publications, including several op-eds calling for stricter immigration control, The Post reported.

Mr. Miller, an adviser to the president on issues including immigration, did not return requests for comment, The Post reported. He has been credited with contributing to several controversial immigration policies implemented by Mr. Trump since taking office, including a travel ban targeting Muslim-majority countries and the administration’s former practice of separating families caught illegally crossing the U.S. border.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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