WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., admitted Monday he was a guest speaker at a white supremacist convention in 2002, though he didn't realize it at the time.
Scalise spoke at a convention for the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) in Metairie, La., Louisana politics blogger Lamar White Jr. reported Monday.
Scalise, 48, acknowledged he spoke at the event when he was a state representative, but he didn't realize that the group supports white supremacy.
"Throughout his career in public service, Mr. Scalise has spoken to hundreds of different groups with a broad range of viewpoints," Scalise spokeswoman Moira Bagley told the Washington Post. "In every case, he was building support for his policies, not the other way around. In 2002, he made himself available to anyone who wanted to hear his proposal to eliminate slush funds that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, as well as his opposition to a proposed tax increase on middle-class families.
"He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic," Bagley said.