As C&L previously reported, Ali Alexander (formerly Ali Akbar) has claimed that he “came up with the idea of January 6th, when I was talking with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Andy Biggs, and Congressman Mo Brooks.” Now, reporter Luke O'Brien (sadly, just laid off) has done a very deep dive at HuffPost into Alexander’s journey from right-wing blogger and tweeter to Tea Party and MAGA activist that makes his claim quite believable. He has also been drawn into circles with some very big Republican names.
For example, the Koch brothers:
Early in his career, Alexander appears to have come to the attention of Mike Roman, the head of Charles and David Koch’s “competitive intelligence” team, a surveillance and intelligence-gathering unit that the Koch Industries brothers used to monitor and counteract liberal groups and activists. Roman, one of Alexander’s first Twitter followers, took to occasionally boosting the young operative’s account. Roman would go on to work for Trump, first in 2016 to oversee “election protection,” and, later, in the White House, where his duties were shrouded in secrecy, according to Politico. (On Election Day in 2020, Roman tweeted viral disinformation about Democratic voter fraud and was among the first people to amplify a “Stop the Steal” hashtag tweeted early that morning by Posobiec.)
Alexander has palled around with Roger Stone:
By the end of that year , Alexander and Stone were hanging out together. The two posed for a photo at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where Alexander turned up for a quarterly meeting of the Young Republican National Federation, acting as the chairman of the organization’s Louisiana chapter. A few days later, as part of a secret retreat with top donors, the Republican Attorneys General Association booked Mar-a-Lago’s Teahouse dining room for an event that Louisiana’s Jeff Landry reportedly attended.
Despite his violent, anti-Semitic tweets, Alexander got props from Kanye West and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey:
Alexander’s social media star was on the rise. In 2018, Kanye West promoted him on Twitter, where Alexander had taken to singling out Jewish members of the media in a way that he insisted couldn’t be anti-Semitic, given his own claims of Semitic heritage. He also tweeted what appeared to be a lynching threat at former CIA Director John Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic. Like Trump, Alexander abused Twitter blatantly. But Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey nevertheless sought out the views of the extremist influencer.
In February 2018, Alexander revealed on Instagram that he and Dorsey had been “talking for the past several months” about how people with “different beliefs” could coexist on Twitter. … In August 2018, Dorsey quietly sought Alexander’s advice about whether to ban bigoted far-right conspiracist Alex Jones from the site.
The list of Republican names goes on and on. It also goes very close to the top.
Prior to the rally, Alexander had been in direct contact with Trump insider Caroline Wren, a top Republican fundraiser and former deputy to Kimberly Guilfoyle, Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and the former national chair of Trump Victory, the joint fundraising committee for Trump’s reelection campaign. Wren had previously served as the national finance director of Trump Victory and the finance director for Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.).
Wren reportedly “played a central role” in the planning of the January 6th rally.
Alexander also claimed to be in direct contact with Guilfoyle. On the morning of January 6th, Alexander said, on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily show, “I got a call last night from Kimberly Guilfoyle, and none of us are stopping. I know you’re not stopping, Ed. I’m not stopping. StoptheSteal.us is not stopping. The family is not stopping.”
The scary thing is, it’s not just Alexander. O'Brien's article makes clear that Republicans and their donors (as well as Facebook and Twitter) have cozied up to quite a few sleazy extremists, such as James O’Keefe:
Alexander forged other connections with prominent conservatives through Blog Bash, an afterparty for bloggers that he helped organize at CPAC. It was sponsored at times by organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, Facebook and the Koch’s libertarian FreedomWorks organization. In 2012, Blog Bash honored James O’Keefe, a Robert Mercer-financed Republican operative who has been labeled a “dirty trickster,” for a film he made that purported to show voter fraud in New Hampshire. (Republicans have used O’Keefe’s “stings” to support restrictive voter ID laws in state legislatures across the country.) With right-wing publisher Andrew Breitbart in attendance, O’Keefe gave a three-word acceptance speech: “Fuck the media!” In 2013, Ted Cruz shared the Blog Bash stage with Alexander. The freshman tea party senator delivered a softer, long-winded version of O’Keefe’s speech, but his anti-media sentiment was palpable and foreshadowed not only Trump’s authoritarian assault on the press but also the online propaganda machine that activists like Breitbart were building for the GOP.
Since January 6th, Alexander has called for civil war and said he’s been “plotting” to “do away with” both the press and the “systems that control us.”
The big question is, who’s with him?