Almost one year ago, the so-called “Groyper Army” — a group of racists and antisemites seeking to rebrand their bigotry as “America First” conservatism — held its first major gathering in Washington, D.C. The America First Political Action Conference (“AFPAC”) was created to compete with the Republican Party’s yearly CPAC gathering.
And its speaker lineup included several known white nationalists.
Many figures who spoke at or attended the inaugural AFPAC gathering went on to play key roles in the antidemocratic “Stop the Steal” rallies across the country following the 2020 election — including the Jan. 6, 2021 rally-turned-insurrection that left five dead.
But two weeks before the second AFPAC event takes place in Orlando, FL, one of the leading figures of the “Groyper Army” — white nationalist and former Identity Evropa leader Patrick Casey — announced he would not be attending. He also criticized another movement leader: Holocaust-denying white nationalist podcaster Nick Fuentes.
During the Feb. 11 episode of his show, Restoring Order, Casey explained that there had been significant infighting between himself and other people in the movement — most notably Matt Evans, better known as “Beardson Beardly.” During a Feb. 8 livestream Evans criticized Casey’s decision not to attend, and suggested he was to blame for the event’s venue being leaked last year.
Casey said he felt betrayed by Nick Fuentes’ apparent failure to stop Evans from publicly criticizing him, and launched into a meandering explanation as to why he wouldn’t be attending AFPAC.
He explained that the event was, first and foremost, a security risk, as the FBI would likely be monitoring attendees in light of the Jan. 6 riot. “The main reason that this event is a bad idea is because of the national security state crackdown that isn’t just expected to happen, that is happening,” Casey said. “It’s here. Right now. And you are the focus. You are the target.”
Casey also pointed out that the infamous clip of Nick Fuentes talking about killing legislators was played during Trump’s second impeachment trial, and that the America First (or “AF”) flag was spotted during the Capitol riot. “People know AF,” he said. “Right? The FBI knows AF more than you might think. As we’ll get to.”
He warned prospective attendees that by going to AFPAC they could end up on a watch list, with ramifications for their ability to travel, open a bank account, and find gainful employment.
And he accused Nick Fuentes — the main organizer of AFPAC — of disregarding these risks at his fans’ expense, stating, “I have seen what happens when Internet celebrities expose their followers to risks that just totally do not justify any potential rewards that could be had.” He added that this was the reason why he “broke with the alt-right” following the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally.
Minutes later Casey said that the investigation into the riot would likely ensnare the “main people” at the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” rallies. While he said he was unsure if this included Fuentes, he excoriated the podcaster for comments he made during the Jan. 6 riot as well as on his livestreams.
“But if you look at what he was saying outside of the Capitol, it was really reckless and irresponsible,” he said. “A lot of the other stuff — and, look, people behind the scenes get this. They don’t wanna say it, right? People in like the inner circle. Talking about killing politicians, even though you did some equivalent of ‘in Minecraft’ after? It doesn’t matter, you don’t say stuff like that.”
As he continued his rant, Casey leveled much more serious accusations. Namely that Fuentes admitted to him that he is under FBI investigation, that the FBI froze his bank account, and that he is driving to Orlando for AFPAC because he was placed on a no-fly list. He claimed that Fuentes hid these details from his supporters while collecting their personal information for his upcoming event.
He further accused Fuentes of fostering a “cult-like atmosphere” in the groyper movement, in which people are discouraged from questioning him and his decisions. “If you’re getting to the point where your favorite podcaster you have sworn total allegiance and you’re just gonna do whatever he says, well, people did that to Richard Spencer. How’d that work out?” Casey asked.
“People have done that to Nick Fuentes. Some of them are going to prison.”
[The following clips are from an hour and a half episode of Restoring Order.]
That same evening, Nick Fuentes made an appearance on The Killstream — an online show hosted by far-right podcaster Ethan Ralph — in order to respond to Casey’s accusations. Fuentes told Ralph that, in spite of earlier reporting that the FBI was looking into a large Bitcoin donation he received from a now-deceased French computer programmer, he had not spoken with the FBI.
“But I will tell you, and I don’t wanna go into too much detail, I’ve not had any contact with the FBI,” said Fuentes. “FBI’s not talked to me. FBI’s not visited me. They visited people I know. But they haven’t talked to me. And to my knowledge I’m not under investigation — other than that what the media said.”
When asked about his bank account being frozen, Fuentes called the claim a “half truth” and said it was based on something he told Patrick Casey “in confidence.” But he added that he’s building his own streaming platform, speaking with “four different lawyers,” and putting on an event in Florida — which he wouldn’t be able to do “without access to capital.”
And as for Casey’s claim that he was placed on a no-fly list, Fuentes called it a “bald-faced lie.” “What I said on my show, what I said on my show several times over the past couple of weeks, is that the Department of Homeland Security revoked my TSA PreCheck status,” he said, referring to a program that allows for expedited security screening.
As for Patrick Casey himself, Fuentes denounced his former friend as “untrustworthy,” telling Ralph that “it is an unforgiveable transgression” for someone in their movement to repeat something told to them in confidence.
“That kind of breach of a trust, to me, is unforgiveable,” Fuentes said angrily.
“Because now, I have to go back and think ‘What’s everything I’ve ever told to Patrick?’ And everybody does. Everybody who has ever talked to Patrick Casey, everybody who’s ever texted Patrick Casey, everybody who’s ever had an email correspondence with Patrick Casey, everybody who was in [the American Identity Movement], everybody who was in Identity Evropa — they now have to ask themselves ‘What did I tell Patrick Casey that could come back to bite me?'”
And his attacks grew increasingly personal as the stream went on, with Fuentes accusing Casey of “bandwagon[ing] onto” his “movement” and referring to him as a “liability.” Fuentes explained that Casey was the groypers’ “closest connection” to the white nationalist alt-right, and that their biggest loss during the “Groyper War” was when Charlie Kirk “brought up Identify [sic] Evropa.”
It should be pointed out, however, that Nick Fuentes attended “Unite the Right,” writing in a Facebook post on the day of the rally that a “tidal wave of white identity is coming.”
As his rant drew to a close, Fuentes said of Casey, “So, you can have him. I’m done with him. You know, Patrick Casey is done riding the coattails of ‘America First.’ He’s done. And we’ll just see what happens. Let’s let everybody enjoy their decisions. We’ll let the chips fall where they may. Certainly there’s no love lost.”
He also predicted that “people will find out very quickly who really needed who in this relationship.”
[The following clips are from a three hour and thirty-seven minute episode of The Killstream.]