U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is standing by an aide who was criticized for his past affiliation with a neo-Confederate group, saying 39-year-old Jack Hunter is an “incredibly talented” part of his staff.
For most of this week Hunter has been under intense scrutiny for once belong to the League of the South, which advocated for secession.
He also worked as a radio shock jock dubbed the “Southern Avenger,” who worse a Confederate flag mask and bemoaned America’s growing non-white majority.
Hunter has since said he has renounced most of his views, but several analysts and critics called on Paul to fire the aide in order to maintain credibility as a potential presidential candidate.
In an interview with Huffington Post, however, Paul rejected those suggestions saying he opposed Hunter’s past views but that his aide has never treated anyone unfairly.
From The Huffington Post:
“People are calling him a white supremacist,” Paul told me in his Senate office. “If I thought he was a white supremacist, he would be fired immediately. If I thought he would treat anybody on the color of their skin different than others, I’d fire him immediately.”
“All I can say is, we have a zero tolerance policy for anybody who displays discriminatory behavior or belief in discriminating against people based on the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, anything like that,” Paul told me. “We won’t tolerate any of that, and I’ve seen no evidence of that.”
Paul hired Hunter to be his social news media director after the two co-authored a book together in 2011.