Matt Shuham

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously associate editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at and on Twitter @mattshuham.

Articles by Matt

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) was arrested Tuesday during a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the first applications for which were sent five years ago.

In a phone call with TPM, Gutiérrez’s communications director, Douglas Rivlin, confirmed the arrest and said the congressman had joined the demonstration — which developed into a sit-in on the sidewalk just outside the White House — in an attempt to bring attention to the program and to temporary protected status (TPS), another protection from deportation granted to some undocumented people.

Video on Gutiérrez’s Facebook page shows individuals at the sit-in being arrested one-by-one.

The immigrant advocacy group United We Dream also recorded the arrest:

Texas’ attorney general has threatened to sue the Trump administration if the President does not rescind DACA, which extended protection from deportation and other legal benefits like work permits and drivers licenses to hundreds of thousands of young people. He and allied attorneys general have given Trump until Sept. 5 to eliminate the program, or else face a lawsuit.

Though Trump has said DACA recipients should “rest easy,” he has failed to commit fully to protecting the program, leading some to worry that the program’s vast stores of data on undocumented people could be used to target them for deportation.

“As we know, this is a President that doesn’t like to upset the far right wing, or the alt-right element of his base, so he’s not likely to put up much of a fight,” Rivlin said Tuesday. “And we’re worried that DACA is going to end in the next few weeks.”

He noted others he saw being arrested at the sidewalk outside the White House: former NAACP President Ben Jealous and Gustavo Torres, executive director of the immigrant advocacy group CASA.

CASA retweeted a report that 25 people had been arrested:

“They were all citizens, and they were there getting arrested symbolically for DACA recipients,” Rivlin said. “There were no DACA recipients in the group, or TPS holders in the group. But the message was: We’re getting arrested on behalf of your families. We’re making our point. We’re standing up and we’re sitting in, for TPS and for DACA.”

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A web hosting provider has objected to the federal government’s request that it hand over what it characterized as detailed records on the more than 1 million visitors to a anti-Trump website that promoted protests of President Trump’s inauguration.

In a blog post on Monday, DreamHost detailed its objections to the government’s request.

“The request from the [Department of Justice] demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website,” the company wrote. “That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.”

The government asserts that a website hosted by DreamHost,, “was used in the development, planning, advertisement, and organization of a violent riot that occurred in Washington, D.C., on January 20, 2017.” A search warrant details the request for “fruits, evidence and instrumentalities of violations” of a Washington, D.C. law against the incitement of riots.

Among other objections, DreamHost responded in a filing on Friday that the government’s demand of “all files” related to the website “would allow the government to identify the specific computers used to visit the website, and what specifically was viewed on the website.” That, DreamHost said, violated website visitors’ First and Fourth Amendment rights, and other legal protections.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia provided TPM with recent case filings, but declined to comment further. 

Both parties were originally scheduled to attend a hearing on Friday before Judge Lynn Leibovitz on the government’s motion to compel DreamHost’s cooperation. However, Bill Miller, public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, notified TPM in an email Friday that the hearing had been postponed, and would now be presided over by Chief Judge Robert E. Morin.

The presidential inauguration was marked by disruption and unrest, particularly from so-called “black bloc” and anti-fascist protesters who destroyed property and created a headache for District police. However, the law enforcement reaction to protesters was extreme: Hundreds have been indicted on felony rioting charges, including multiple journalists observing the protests.

H/t BuzzFeed.

This post has been updated.

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White supremacist leader Richard Spencer asserted Monday that President Donald Trump wasn’t being “serious” when he denounced hate groups by name, two days after blaming “many sides” for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“The statement today was more kumbaya nonsense,” Spencer said at a press conference. “You can say racism is evil; we should all love one another; the sun should always shine, seven days a week; everyone should be above average; everyone should be a wonderful athlete; everyone should love each other. It’s just silliness.”

“It’s not serious, and I don’t think anyone takes it seriously, including the President,” he added.

Two days after blaming “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, where a counter-protester was allegedly killed by a man identified with white supremacists, Trump condemned hate groups by name.

“Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump said, reading slowly from prepared remarks.

“He sounded like a Sunday school teacher,” Spencer said Monday. “I don’t take him seriously.”

Spencer is widely credited with creating the term “alt-right” as a description of internet-savvy white racists and misogynists. He’s also the president of the National Policy Institute, at whose annual conference he made news in November by proclaiming: “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” to a smattering of Nazi salutes.

“I don’t think Donald Trump is a dumb person,” Spencer added of Trump’s remarks. “And only a dumb person would take those lines seriously. I mean, you’d have to be a really — I mean, again, it sounded like something out of Sunday school.”

Trump has dropped hints since the stiff statement that he may not have fully meant it. First, he said the media would “never be satisfied” with his performance as President, adding that they were “truly bad people,” presumably for pressuring him to condemn hate groups.

He also retweeted the conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, who has been photographed with Spencer.

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President Donald Trump retweeted a cartoon showing a metaphorical “Trump Train” ramming a cartoon person topped with a CNN logo on Tuesday morning.

The cartoon was as an ill-timed jab at the news network just three days after a woman was killed after a car barreled into counter-protesters at a white supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Nothing can stop the #TrumpTrain,” Twitter user @SLandinSoCal wrote above the cartoon, which read “Fake news can’t stop the Trump train.” Trump later undid his retweet of the cartoon, but not before journalists captured his endorsement of it:

An unnamed White House official later told NBC’s Kristen Welker that Trump had “inadvertently posted” the graphic, and that it was “immediately deleted” once noticed.

Trump seemed to have made another, similar mistake Tuesday morning, temporarily retweeting someone who called either him or convicted criminal Joe Arpaio — the birther Trump supporter who the President is considering pardoning — a fascist.

Trump sparred with CNN on Monday when the network’s Jim Acosta asked the President a question. “I like real news, not fake news. You’re fake news,” Trump told Acosta.

The cartoon Tuesday followed another graphic aimed at CNN, posted by the President in early July, showing Trump body slamming a wrestler with a similar CNN logo covering his face.

Trump has raged at the media since white supremacists descended on the town of Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, sometimes violently clashing with counter-protesters and police. One counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed when a man who had earlier been photographed with a white supremacist group allegedly rammed his car in to a crowd.

After the car attack, Trump blamed “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville. Eventually, and seemingly begrudgingly, he condemned hate groups by name.

But later in the day, Trump made clear that he had only denounced the groups to satisfy the real “truly bad people,” journalists.

This post has been updated.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Monday invoked the violent weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia in order to show his support for National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

McMaster’s character has come under attack recently from various online personalities and outlets aligned with the so-called “alt-right,” a movement of misogynists and white supremacists birthed in online message boards like 4chan.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing General H.R. McMaster for many years, and greatly respect and admire his outstanding service to the nation,” McCain said in a statement. “The recent attacks upon him from the so-called ‘alt-right’ are disgraceful.”

“I hope the President will once again stand up for his national security adviser and denounce these repugnant attacks, which arise from the same purveyors of hatred and ignorance who precipitated the recent violence in Charlottesville,” he added.

McMaster is largely seen as having positioned himself opposite chief strategist Steve Bannon as a voice in President Donald Trump’s ear. Breitbart News, the conservative website Bannon once ran — and which he praised as “the platform for the alt-right” in July 2016 — has come out strongly against McMaster in recent weeks.

And Mike Cernovich, a popular conspiracy-minded journalist and provocateur, has alleged without evidence that McMaster has a drinking problem.

One reported Bannon ally and an a former member of McMaster’s National Security Council, Rich Higgins, was fired in July over a memo linking “globalists and Islamists” and “cultural Marxists” as part of a wide-reaching plot to undermine Trump’s presidency, the Atlantic first reported on Aug. 2. Trump voiced his support for McMaster in a statement on Aug. 5.

Various white supremacist groups and others affiliated with the alt-right protested in Charlottesville on Saturday against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park. One man who had earlier been photographed with a white supremacist group was detained after allegedly ramming his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring at least 20.

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President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed questions about his two-day delay before condemning hate groups by name after a white supremacist rally turned deadly over the weekend.

“Mr. President, can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?” CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Trump after a bill signing ceremony at the White House.

“They’ve been condemned,” Trump replied. “They have been condemned.”

Trump did in fact condemn “criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups” on Monday from the White House, but only after intense criticism after he blamed “many sides” for the carnage in Charlottesville on Saturday.

The white supremacist rally in the city was held in response to the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. One man who had earlier been photographed with a white supremacist group allegedly drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring more than a dozen.

Acosta followed up, referencing a planned press conference that Trump on Friday had promised would occur Monday: “And why are we not having a press conference today? You said on Friday we’d have a press conference?”

“We had a press conference,” Trump said. “We just had a press conference.”

Trump had not just held a press conference. That would involve answering journalist’s questions at more length than responding to shouted requests after a bill signing.

“Can we ask you more questions, then, sir?” Acosta asked.

“It doesn’t bother me at all, but I like real news, not fake news,” Trump responded. “You’re fake news. Thank you everybody.”

Acosta shouted as Trump left: “Haven’t you spread a lot of fake news yourself, sir?”

Watch below via ABC News: 

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President Donald Trump said Sunday that he was considering pardoning former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court in July.

“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Trump told Fox News on Sunday in an interview from his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”

“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?” Trump added. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

Arpaio, who lost a re-election bid after 24 years in office last November, was convicted on July 31 of criminal contempt of court for refusing to follow a judges’ orders to stop his practice of racially profiling individuals for traffic stops and detention who law enforcement officials believed could be undocumented immigrants.

Arpaio said last week that he was “not going to ask him,” about a pardon, referring to Trump, but that “many, many people around the country are saying, ‘Trump should pardon.’”

Responding to Trump’s statement, Arpaio told Fox News: “I am happy he understands the case,” and “I would accept the pardon because I am 100 percent not guilty.”

Apraio was an early and fervent supporter of the President during the 2016 campaign. Trump referred to him as “Sheriff Joe.” The former sheriff has also gained infamy for what were widely viewed as inhumane detention practices.

His Democratic successor, Sheriff Paul Penzone, pledged to close the “Tent City” jail, in which Arpaio housed inmates outdoors in the scorching Arizona heat.

This post has been updated.

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Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones said over the weekend that he believed the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was staged, and compared it to other rallies in which he claimed to have seen Jewish people masquerading as Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members.

“I’ve been to these events, a lot of the KKK guys with their hats off look like they’re from the cast of Seinfeld,” he said Sunday, as old footage of a KKK rally rolled behind him. “Look at them, they’re just Jewish actors. Nothing against Jews in general, but the leftist Jewish want to create this clash, so they go dress up as Nazis.”

“I have footage in Austin — we’re going to find it somewhere here at the office — where it literally looks like cast of Seinfeld or like Howard Stern in a Nazi outfit. They all look like Howard Stern. They almost got like, the little curly hair down, and they’re just up there heil-ing Hitler. You can tell they are totally uncomfortable, they are totally scared, and it’s all just meant to create the clash.”

The comment came during Jones’ Sunday broadcast, and was flagged by the liberal media monitoring group Media MattersPresident Donald Trump appeared on Jones’ show in December 2015 and said, “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” Jones has since claimed to have been in touch with Trump again after the presidential election.

On Saturday, as news unfolded that one counter-protester was killed in an alleged terrorist attack by a man who had earlier been photographed with a white supremacist group, Jones explicitly said the extremists’ presence looked staged.

“I thought Trump’s response was great,” he told conservative provocateur Gavin McInnes in a phone call he broadcasted live, referring to Trump’s statement condemning “many sides” for the weekend’s violence. “We should study this, because we know Soros has been planning this and like, trying to create provocative events. And the whole thing looks staged to me.”

Jones did acknowledge that, “as a result of removing Confederate generals statues, there’s going to be some crazies on the right that come out as well.” He called the event at various points a “small conservative march” and “a bunch of conservatives that just went out there to stand up and demonstrate, but with a few white supremacists who were leading them, who were separate groups, to the media, so as to demonize all conservatives.”

The “Unite the Right” rally that brought the white supremacist groups to Charlottesville was staged to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park.

Jones further compared the weekend to other incidents in which he claimed to have seen Jewish people masquerading as white supremacists.

“And I see a bunch of antifa, George Soros-, globalist-, Hillary Clinton-funded crap starting fights and a bunch of fake supremacists they brought in to march around in front of a bunch of conservatives, because I’ve been through it,” he said.

“I’ve seen Nazi rallies where the Jewish guys posing as Nazis tuck their” — he swirled his fingers, mimicking Jewish mens’ “peyot” — “literally into Nazi hats.”

“Wearing old SA Hollywood outfits that you know came out of some Hollywood lot,” he continued. “And I love Jewish folks. The point is, you go to the event. There’s the Nazis, and it’s like — those guys look more Jewish and Seinfeld. I’ve got the videos, we’ve got to dig them up somewhere.”

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Vice President Mike Pence said Monday President Donald Trump “will continue to be clear” in condemning white supremacist hate groups — even though the President himself has not actually done so in the wake of a white supremacist terrorist attack during a hectic rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one counter-protester dead.

Pence also echoed Trump’s language that “many sides” of the white supremacist rally were worth condemning. Pence said he believed “we’re going to see these extremist voices on the far right and on the far left marginalized as they should be as Americans come together around our shared values.”

In an interview with Pence Monday, NBC’s Peter Alexander asked: “Do you have any concern, even if it’s not the President’s intention, that he, in fact, by not condemning white supremacists by their names, is dividing Americans?”

“Peter, we talked about that very extensively yesterday,” Pence responded. “The President made it very clear in his statement this weekend that we condemn all forms of hate and violence, and particularly condemn, as we did yesterday — we condemned the hate and the violence and the bigotry of organizations that showed up in Charlottesville like the KKK and white supremacists.”

“The President was clear on that and will continue to be clear,” Pence said.

Except Trump wasn’t. He condemned “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.” Only later Sunday did an anonymous White House official say that “of course” Trump’s condemnation included “white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.” But Trump still hasn’t said so himself.

Pence continued: “But I think you’ll also see this President call our country to move beyond these fractious times and come together around the values that we share  — the values that we share, frankly, with most nations across this hemisphere and with free nations around the world.”

“I truly believe that under President Trump’s leadership we’re going to continue to see more unity in America and we’re going to see these extremist voices on the far right and on the far left marginalized as they should be as Americans come together around our shared values,” he concluded.

It’s unclear which “far left” groups Pence meant to condemn. So called “antifa” groups — short for anti-fascist — are not shy about their advocacy of violence against white supremacists, and were in attendance in Charlottesville. But the man accused of second-degree murder and other charges for ramming his car into a group of counter-protesters Saturday had earlier appeared in a photo with American Vanguard, a white supremacist group.

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