Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota


Rep. Ellison To Mattis: Investigate White Supremacist Activity within the Military

May 4, 2018
Press Release

ProPublica and Frontline PBS report identified three members of Atomawaffen, a white supremacist organization, currently employed by the Army or Navy

Letter asks for the number of reports of extremist activity by service members over the past five years

WASHINGTON — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) today sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis requesting information on reports of and investigations into white supremacist activities within the military. At least one service member was allegedly involved in the violent activity in Charlottesville, Virginia last August.

“The involvement of service members in white supremacist or other hate groups is cause for significant concern, particularly given their combat and weapons training,” Rep. Ellison says, adding that he is "concerned these actions may be indicative of a broader problem within the military.”

The letter notes that nearly 25 percent of respondents to a September 2017 Military Times survey of over 1,100 active duty troops reported they had seen examples of white nationalism among their fellow service members.

The letter requests an investigation into the actions of the service members identified by ProPublica and Frontline PBS, as well as a response by May 21, 2018 to a series of inquiries, including “the number of reports of extremist activity by service members over the past five years” and “information on the steps currently being taken to a screen recruits for extremist ties.”

Read the full letter here [PDF]

Read the ProPublica and Frontline PBS report