House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana acknowledged yesterday that he spoke at a gathering hosted by white-supremacist leaders while serving as a state representative in 2002. The revelation comes days before his party assumes control of Congress.
Scalise, 49, who ascended to the House GOP's third-highest post this year after Rep. Eric Cantor's defeat in a Virginia Republican primary in June, confirmed through an adviser that he once appeared at a convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, or EURO. But the adviser said the congressman didn't know at the time about the group's affiliation with racists and neo-Nazi activists.
The organization, founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has been called a hate group by several civil rights organizations.
Last night, some Democrats were already raising questions about whether Scalise should remain in a leadership post.
Associates of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) are monitoring the situation. The staff of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had no comment.
-- The Washington Post