PULLMAN, Wash. — Embattled Washington State University College Republican President James Allsup has resigned after attending and speaking at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that turned violent over the weekend.
KREM 2 spoke with Allsup on the phone. At the time of their conversation Sunday, Allsup was at an urgent care clinic in Charlottesville where he is being treated for minor exposure to pepper spray.
Allsup, who has more than 14,000 Twitter followers and 145,000 subscribers on YouTube, said he attended the rally in a media capacity. The WSU College Republican President said the rally organizer unexpectedly asked him to make a few remarks.
Allsup said Sunday he disagrees with the violence that took place in Charlottesville.
"I think it's terrible that anyone had to lose their life. I think that's awful," Allsup said.
He also said while he disagrees with symbols like the swastika seen at the rally, he believes those individuals should not be restricted from free speech.
"I would even say the same for the Black Panthers," Allsup said. "If you're going to peacefully organize an event and peacefully go to the event, I think you should have the right to speak."
Allsup said he considers himself a “paleoconservative” or a “right wing libertarian”. He also said he believes the term “alt-right” is a slur.
The Twitter account, "Yes, You are Racist" has been using the hashtag, #ExposeTheAltRight to identify individuals who attended the rally. The account named Allsup as one of them.
"They have no proof that I'm a racist," Allsup said. "They are slandering me and that I'm racist without evidence because I talk about history and I talk about American politics."
The College Republicans National Committee released a statement on Monday calling on all leaders in College Republicans who "support or condone these events" to resign.
After the statement from the national committee, KREM 2 spoke with Amir Rezamand, former VP and now president of WSU College Republicans, who confirmed Allsup had resigned.
The "Spokane Citizens Against Racism" held a candlelight vigil on Sunday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
WSU President, Kirk Schulz tweeted on Sunday the university denounced racism and Nazism of any kind and wrote "hate has no place at WSU."
1/5 Washington State University faculty, staff, and students work hard to provide a welcoming environment for everyone on our 5 campuses.— Kirk H Schulz (@WSU_Cougar_Pres) August 14, 2017
2/5 We strongly denounce racism & Nazism of any kind & condemn the violence which occurred in Charlottesville. Hate has no place at WSU.— Kirk H Schulz (@WSU_Cougar_Pres) August 14, 2017
3/5 Universities are places where controversial voices must be heard – even those voices that many in our community disagree with.— Kirk H Schulz (@WSU_Cougar_Pres) August 14, 2017
4/5 We will continue university-wide conversations with the WSU community on how to best support everyone. There are no easy answers.— Kirk H Schulz (@WSU_Cougar_Pres) August 14, 2017
5/5 In a society which often divides us, I am asking Cougs to come together and offer solutions to providing the environment at that we seek— Kirk H Schulz (@WSU_Cougar_Pres) August 14, 2017
WSU officials told KREM 2 on Monday they expected to send a release about "campus culture" later in the day.
A photo of Allsup with Eastern Washington U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has also been circulated on the internet. McMorris Rodgers, who spoke out Sunday against the rioting in Virginia, said through a spokesperson that she did not know Allsup and does not support "anyone who took part in the hateful events in Virginia."
"She often takes photos with student groups when visiting colleges throughout Eastern Washington; the photo circulating was taken after a debate she participated in at WSU before the 2016 election," Jared Powell, a spokesman for McMorris Rodgers said in a statement.
Editor's note: There is a screen shot online of what appears to be Allsup's Facebook page which confirms he planned to speak at the Unite the Right event. KREM 2 has been unable to confirm the veracity of this account. Allsup's Facebook page, however, appears to have been disabled since this weekend. We are working to learn more about the supposed screen shots and will post any updates. This story will continue to be updated.
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