State Department Official Is Also a White Nationalist with Deep Ties to Racist Right

State Department Official Is Also a White Nationalist with Deep Ties to Racist Right

Matthew Q. Gebert is a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Natural Resources, a division of the State Department. In his spare time, he likes to donate to the election campaigns of white supremacists, hang out with Holocaust-denying historian David Irving, and lead his local Washington, D.C.-area chapter of The Right Stuff, a white nationalist organization.

Sounds as if Gebert is very busy.

This information comes from Hatewatch, a division of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Hatewatch identified Gebert, who has mostly taken pains to hide behind the pseudonym “Coach Finstock” in his online comments and public activity. But he appears to have outed himself by donating to the congressional campaign of Paul Nehlen, a Wisconsin white supremacist who tried to mount a congressional campaign in 2018.

Gebert joined the State Department in 2013, well before the rise of Donald Trump in American politics. But in an online post on the white nationalist forum The Right Stuff, he traced his radicalization to 2015. Since then, he has become active with The Right Stuff, which was founded and is led by MIchael Peinovich, one of “the most influential and significant figures of the contemporary racist right.”

Hatewatch documents much of Gebert’s activity appearing on white nationalist podcasts and founding D.C. Helicopter Pilots, the Northern Virginia-based chapter of The Right Stuff. The name may be a reference to fascist Chilean dictator Agusto Pinochet, whose loyalists would throw their enemies out of helicopters.

According to Hatewatch, Gebert could be in violation of the Hatch Act if he is found to have engaged in any of his white nationalist activities while on duty for the State Department. The Hatch Act prohibits government employees from participating in outside political activity while “on duty or in the workplace.”

Or, being that this is the Trump administration, he might get promoted to Secretary of State. Hard to say.

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Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.