A top aide to Virginia GOP Senate nominee Corey Stewart has shared a number of conspiracy theories on social media, including tweets about “Pizzagate” and Facebook posts parroting the popular far-right theory that top Democrats were responsible for the death of a Democratic National Committee staffer, a KFile review has found.
The aide, Noel Fritsch, also shared anti-Muslim sentiments, calling gun-free zones and Muslims “a deadly combination,” and objected to LGBT people being discussed on National Public Radio. He also commented on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last August, saying, “One group had a permit to assemble” between them and the counter-protesters.
Stewart, for whom Fritsch works as a consultant and spokesman, won the Republican primary earlier this month, defeating conservative state legislator Nick Freitas to become the party’s challenger to incumbent senator Tim Kaine. Stewart, chair of the Prince WIlliam County Board of Supervisors, gained notoriety during his failed bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2017 with his defenses of the Confederate flag and Confederate statues.
CNN’s KFile reported earlier this month that Stewart paid anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim Wisconsin House candidate Paul Nehlen $759 as a “fundraising commission” during his gubernatorial bid. Stewart told The Washington Post that he distanced himself from Nehlen after he “started spewing a bunch of stupid stuff.”
Fritsch previously worked as a consultant for Nehlen, who is running for the seat being vacated by House Speaker Paul Ryan. The Washington Examiner reported that Fritsch stopped that work in December 2017, when Breitbart News also cut ties with him after he made anti-Semitic tweets.
In a statement to CNN’s KFile, Fritsch said in his role as a private citizen he “at times use social utilities to ask questions and provoke debate.” Fritsch stood by his comments.
Corey Stewart told CNN’s KFile, “I don’t agree with all the views of all my supporters or vendors.”
Here are some of Fritsch’s posts on Facebook and Twitter:
Fritsch twice used the hashtag “#pizzagate” on Twitter, referring to a conspiracy theory that falsely alleges that Hillary Clinton and other leading Democratic figures were involved in a child sex ring run out of a Washington, DC pizzeria.
“Rex Tillerson jails Pedos in his spare time, apparently. That why the left hate him? #TrumpTransition #pizzagate,” Fritsch tweeted in December 2016, linking to an article by far-right conspiracy theorist Charles C. Johnson.
In February 2017 he linked to a tweet from Nehlen, now unavailable because Nehlen has been banned from Twitter, asking what Paul Ryan should do with “$25k of Hastert’s dirty #Pedo money,” a reference to former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who has admitted to sexually abusing boys as a high school wrestling coach. Fritsch followed the question with the Pizzagate hashtag.
On Seth Rich
Fritsch said Hillary Clinton and other top Democrats were responsible for the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich.
“She killed Seth Rich, and he covered for her,” he commented on a January 25 Facebook post arguing that neither Bernie Sanders nor Clinton should run for president in 2020. In an August 2017 post, he referred to the former DNC chairwoman as Rich’s “old murder…er…old boss.” And in a February 2018 tweet, he called Democrats “the same people who killed Seth Rich.”
On Muslims and Islam
Fritsch wrote that gun-free zones and Muslims are “a deadly combination” in a January 2017 tweet.
In November 2016, after a shooting at Ohio State University for which ISIS took credit, Fritsch tweeted, “Islam sees large groups of pedestrians like a lawn yet to be mowed.”
Fritsch tweeted in December 2016, “Islam is openly orchestrating a Jihadi revolution right here on U.S. soil & they’re doing it with the ballot box,” along with a link to Paul Nehlen’s website.
On LGBT people
In April 2018, just after the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, he criticized her for having supported gay marriage, which he called an abomination of nature in a comment under his original post.
On the Charlottesville rally
In August 2017, Fritsch commented on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, criticizing Airbnb as “SJW” (social justice warrior) for banning those attending from using its services and saying on Facebook that, between them and the counter-protesters, “One group had a permit to assemble.” He wrote later that month, “What red pills people faster than torch rallies? Being stomped on by government.”
On black people
In November 2016, he tweeted that Washington, DC, mayor Muriel Bowser “keeps her black subjects in cages where they can be taken out every four years for elections.”
Fritsch tweeted in March, “in Hollywood it’s OK to be a rapist as long you’re black,” adding the hashtags “#Weinstein #KobeBryant.”
On establishment Republicans
Fritsch tweeted in February 2017 that Sen. John McCain “sold all his comrades down the river” at the Vietnamese POW camp where he was imprisoned and tortured and called McCain a “bitch” in a July 2017 Facebook comment.
Fritsch has frequently used the term “cuck” to describe Republicans with whom he disagrees, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan. In one instance, he used it against a newspaper editor who criticized him for saying “Women ‘hate’ @realDonaldTrump like they ‘hate’ dating the bad boys they’re sleeping with. #MAGA”
Fritsch said that conservative commentator John Podhoretz looks like a pedophile in a November 2017 quote tweet of Nehlen.