Fact Check: Raphael Warnock Ad Falsely Accuses Kelly Loeffler of ‘Campaigning with’ White Supremacist

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 21: Democratic U.S. senatorial candidate Raphael Warnock gestures to a staffer after casting his ballot at State Farm Arena on October 21, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Warnock is hoping to unseat incumbent Kelly Loeffler. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

CLAIM: The campaign of Georgia Democrat Senate candidate Raphael Warnock released an ad Saturday claiming Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) campaigned this month with a known white supremacist.

VERDICT: False. Chester Doles, who has extensive ties to white supremacy in his background, was among many individuals who took photos with Loeffler during a campaign stop in Dawsonville, Georgia, on December 11, but Loeffler was not “campaigning with” Doles, and there is no evidence to suggest Loeffler knew who Doles was as she was posing for photos.

Warnock’s campaign released the 30-second ad on Saturday — less than two weeks away from the January 5 Senate runoff race — in which the narrator accuses Loeffler of “campaigning with” Doles at the recent event. The narrator goes on to claim that Loeffler was also “campaigning with” Doles at an event three months ago as evidence that Loeffler knew who Doles was.

The full transcript of Warnock’s ad is below:

I’m Raphael Warnock, and I approve this message. Kelly Loeffler’s running a false campaign focused on dividing Georgians. So maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that last week she was caught campaigning with this man, a longtime white supremacist who spent decades in the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi National Alliance. Loeffler claims she had no idea who he was. But Kelly Loeffler gave the same excuse three months ago when she was also campaigning with him. Kelly’s for Kelly. She’s not for us.

The ad accurately describes Doles as a longtime member of the Ku Klux Klan and National Alliance, both white supremacist organizations. But the ad wrongly uses a photo that circulated after the December 11 event of Loeffler and Doles as its proof that Loeffler knowingly was “campaigning with” Doles.

As is usual on the campaign trail, Loeffler posed with many unfamiliar supporters for photos during her stop. Additionally, Loeffler’s deputy campaign manager, Stephen Lawson, affirmed in a statement to Breitbart News that Loeffler was not aware of Doles’ identity when Doles took a photo with her.

“Kelly had no idea who that was, and if she had, she would have kicked him out immediately because we condemn in the most vociferous terms everything that he stands for,” Lawson said.

The second event in which Loeffler was allegedly “campaigning with” Doles that the ad references occurred September 19 and featured Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported at the time, Doles was ejected from the event at the request of Greene. Greene told the AJC, “I asked him to be removed. He is not welcome at any events that I attend. Period.”

Loeffler only briefly attended that event, and her campaign told the AJC afterwards that she had no knowledge of who Doles was or that there was a controversy involving him at the event.

Breitbart News reached out to Warnock’s campaign to inquire about what evidence it had for its latest ad to allege that Loeffler was “campaigning with” Doles, but Warnock’s campaign did not respond.

The ad comes as many racially charged sermons and writings from Warnock, senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, surface during Warnock’s bid for Senate. In one instance, a video from 2016 shows Warnock telling his audience, “America needs to repent for its worship of whiteness on full display”:

Warnock has also called Dr. James Cone, who repeatedly used provocative race-fueled language throughout his career, his “mentor” and the “father of black theology.” In A Black Theology of Liberation, Cone argued that salvation comes from being like God and becoming “black” — that is, adopting total political solidarity with the black community. Cone determined that “satanic whiteness” makes “white religionists” incapable of “perceiving the blackness of God”; therefore, they must purge themselves of said whiteness.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com.

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