A U.S. State Department official oversaw a Washington, D.C.-area chapter of a white nationalist organization, posted racist propaganda online, and hosted other white nationalists at his home, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch reported on Wednesday.
A State Department spokesperson told Hatewatch that the official, Matthew Q. Gebert, is a a foreign affairs officer assigned to the Bureau of Energy Resources at the department. Online and in private messages with his white nationalist cronies, the site reported Gebert uses the pseudonym “Coach Finstock” and has spoken about his desire for a white nationalist state on several podcasts.
“[Whites] need a country of our own with nukes, and we will retake this thing lickety split,” “Coach Finstock” said on a May 2018 episode of the white nationalist podcast “The Fatherland,” according to the site. “That’s all that we need. We need a country founded for white people with a nuclear deterrent. And you watch how the world trembles.”
Gebert began his time at the State Department in 2013 as a presidential management fellow. Hatewatch traced his roots in the movement to a post Gebert-as-“Finstock” wrote in 2015 on a white nationalism online forum.
Multiple sources told Hatewatch that they spent time at Gebert’s home for gatherings with other white nationalists, and others identified Gebert’s voice on white nationalist podcast recordings, which the SPLC corroborated with details Gebert shared about himself on the podcasts.
Gebert’s wife, Anna Vuckovic, is also reportedly entrenched in the white nationalist movement, blogging and tweeting under the pseudonym “Wolfie James.” Gebert never returned Hatewatch’s request for comment.
Meanwhile, a State Department spokesperson told Hatewatch that the department is “committed to providing a workplace that is free from discriminatory harassment and investigates alleged violations of laws, regulations, or Department policies, taking disciplinary action when appropriate.”
In the wake yet another mass shooting explicitly motivated by racist violence—and amid the resurgence of white nationalists cropping up in positions of power across the country—it’s an issue the department clearly needs to get a handle on.