White nationalist leader and Michigan attorney Kyle Bristow posted an image of himself with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter Thursday morning. The image appears to have been taken about a decade ago when Bristow was leading the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter at Michigan State University.
During that time, Bristow was being trained by the Leadership Institute in Virginia. That organization which trains young conservative activists was one which trained Pence, according to its website. Pence, when a Congressman from Indiana, spoke to new activists as well.
Bristow, at that time, was already fomenting dissent on campus. He’d been elected to the Associated Students of Michigan State University student government to represent the James Madison College. But he was recalled by his peers when his agenda included rescinding financing for students of color student groups, the LGBT groups and others, all while advocating the creation of a white student group.
Unphased, Bristow went on to announce plans to run a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” day on campus, which was ultimately dropped but not until then MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon condemned the action. Under his leadership, YAF was listed as a hate group in 2007 by the Southern Poverty Law Center. During his leadership tenure, he brought in racist speakers such as Chris Simcox of the Minutemen Civilian Defence Corps, an armed vigilante “border patrol” group; and Nick Griffin, head of the British National Party, a white nationalist party in the UK. Neo-Nazi organizer Preston Wigginton served as security for Griffin at the event.
Bristow has since become a leading voice in the so-called “alt-right” movement, which is a name given to a new breed of white nationalists and backed the campaign of Donald Trump for President. Bristow has created the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas. The nonprofit has represented numerous white nationalists in civil litigations, most notably in lawsuits against public universities such as Michigan State University forcing them to allow National Policy Institute leader Richard Spencer to speak on those public properties. In fact, Bristow’s lawsuit against MSU, filed on behalf of Cameron Padgett, resulted in the university paying Bristow tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees as well as the university being forced to allow Spencer to speak on campus.
That speaking engagement will occur Monday afternoon, during MSU’s spring break. On Sunday, Spencer will join Bristow and other white nationalists for the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas’ conference somewhere in metro Detroit.
Mike Pence and me hanging out yesteryear. pic.twitter.com/HIPqUewnxa
— Kyle Bristow 🦅 (@KyleBristow) March 1, 2018