In Private Messages, DeSantis Ally Pedro Gonzalez Argues Nancy Pelosi Is Jewish and Faults Trump for Condemning White Supremacy

(Pedro Gonzalez Instagram)
July 31, 2023

Pedro Gonzalez, the magazine editor and online influencer who has amassed a following on the far right over the past several years, made more extensive anti-Semitic remarks than previously reported.

The politics editor of the paleoconservative Chronicles magazine who gained prominence through appearances on Tucker Carlson's Fox News program, Gonzalez argued in online messages obtained by the Washington Free Beacon that former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) "can't be criticized" publicly because she is a Jew—Pelosi is a Roman Catholic—and that Jewish scholar Yoram Hazony is an unfit spokesman for American nationalism because he was born in Israel.

Gonzalez told the Free Beacon on Sunday that he now believes the comments "were wrong" and "don’t reflect who I am."

In the messages, Gonzalez expressed frustration that he couldn't vocalize publicly his opposition to letting "an Israeli scholar like Hazony define the rules of American nationalism."

The comments, relayed in online messages to a friend in 2019 and 2020, are of a piece with messages that Gonzalez wrote on a pro-Trump group chat in the same years and that were the subject last month of a Breitbart exposé.

In those messages, Gonzalez, who has made a name for himself as a vocal supporter of Florida governor and 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, wrote that "not every Jew is problematic, but the sad fact is that most are," and that the "only tactical considertation [sic] of Jews is screening them for movements."

The DeSantis campaign declined to comment on whether it had or has any relationship, formal or informal, with Gonzalez, though sources close to the campaign said the campaign has no current relationship with Gonzalez. Gonzalez said he has no official connection to the DeSantis campaign.

Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting DeSantis, denounced Gonzalez and said it had no affiliation with him.

Other DeSantis allies, however, have stood behind Gonzalez. Weeks after the publication of the Breitbart exposé, the Florida Standard, a news outlet described by Politico as part of DeSantis's attempt to forge his own press corps in the Sunshine State and a publication "at the center of DeSantis's norms-smashing media strategy," published an op-ed by Gonzalez arguing that Trump is a likely loser in a general election.

The editor of the Standard, Will Witt, did not respond to a request for comment.

The latest messages from Gonzalez come to light just days after the DeSantis campaign parted ways with a campaign aide, Nate Hochman, for including a Nazi "Sonnenrad" symbol in a video that he secretly distributed to a pro-DeSantis Twitter account.

In an interview with the Free Beacon, Gonzalez attributed the remarks to his descent into what he described as an "online Trump world" that embraced "absurd rhetorical extremism."

"What starts off as joking can very quickly become unironically internalized as an actual belief," he said, adding that "I said those things, and I take responsibility for them, and I apologize for them, and, ultimately, it's on me."

Gonzalez said he has had a change of heart since becoming a father: "You develop a kind of revulsion for the immaturity that defines these extremely online movements, the kind of performative bigotry that is a feature of it."

"I completely do not believe any of that stuff," he added. "I'm ashamed of those comments, I'm embarrassed by them."

In the messages published last month by Breitbart, Gonzalez also railed against Daily Wire editor in chief Ben Shapiro, to whom he objected because Shapiro is "a Jewish Jew who likes Jewish stuff and Israel" and because Jews like Shapiro "instinctively fear living under Christian, especially European, rule"—a point, he noted, that cannot be discussed "in the open."

Prior to the publication of the Breitbart piece, Gonzalez reached out to Shapiro and apologized for his remarks, according to a source familiar with the situation. He told the Free Beacon he has also apologized to Hazony.

Gonzalez and his supporters said the Breitbart piece was an attempt to cancel him, with one describing it as a "leftist cancel culture hit piece."

The influencer also suggested the piece was driven by his vocal support for DeSantis and Breitbart's enduring loyalty to Trump. "Crossing Trump's political machine puts you in a state of nature—a state of war without rules of engagement or codes of conduct," he said on Twitter. "My views and attitude have rapidly and dramatically changed in a short period of time, but I have always been very stubborn, and I generally do not respond well to anyone trying to silence me."

Gonzalez battled accusations of anti-Semitism before his private messages were published. Early last year, the author and columnist Douglas Murray accused Gonzalez of unmasking himself, "boringly and yet still wretchedly, as an anti-Semite" after Gonzalez mocked the appearance of the liberal Jewish economist David Rothschild: "That Rothschild physiognomy is pure nightmare fuel." At the time, Gonzalez and his allies strenuously denied the allegation, arguing that he "frequently lobs such jibes at political opponents of all ethnic backgrounds."

Gonzalez told the Free Beacon  that he does not consider the remark anti-Semitic but rather "one of those weird, online-right insults."

In another message obtained by the Free Beacon, Gonzalez in 2019 appeared to take issue with then-president Trump's response to a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, which was carried out by a white supremacist. Addressing the country in the wake of the massacre, Trump called on Americans to "condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy."

"He didn't actually cuck after Charlotesville, or not nearly as bad," Gonzalez wrote to his friend, responding to a news report in which the president's remarks were quoted. "Fuck this president."