President Donald Trump has announced his intent to select two Coloradans for administration roles, including one who was fired for the appearance of ties to white nationalists.
Brian P. Brooks, originally of Pueblo, has spent the past five months as the acting comptroller of the currency. Trump on Wednesday indicated he would seek to nominate Brooks for the permanent job, which would merit a five-year term.
Brooks’s family moved to Washington, D.C., when he was 10 years old, and he subsequently got a job in the Reagan administration. “I was a kid from a small town, and suddenly here I was in the nation’s Capitol actually working on these issues,” he told The Pueblo Chieftain. “It was all made possible by a Pueblo guy who had made good, and got a job at the White House.”
Previously, Brooks was a member of the Fannie Mae board of directors and chief legal officer for San Francisco cryptocurrency company Coinbase.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency charters, regulates and supervises national banks. Earlier this month, Brooks delivered a statement to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs describing efforts to eliminate obstacles to credit and promote affordable housing. He cited “the social unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd” as a source of outrage that “too many Americans have been left out of our national wealth-creation engine for far too long.”
Trump also indicated he would appoint Darren Jeffrey Beattie to be a member of the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
In August 2018, the White House fired Beattie, a speechwriter, for attending the H.L. Mencken Club's 2016 conference and speaking on a panel alongside the founder of a right-wing website, VDARE, that labels immigration as a threat to the American nation-state, and diversity as “not a strength, but a vulnerability.” VDARE has regularly featured the writings of white nationalists and has been banned from YouTube for hate speech.
The Mencken Club's annual conference started in 2008 and is regularly attended by well-known white nationalists such as Peter Brimelow, the founder of VDARE.
The Washington Post reported at the time that Beattie was asked to resign, but he insisted he had said nothing objectionable.
The commission’s role is to identify and report on cemeteries, monuments and buildings in Eastern and Central Europe with cultural ties to America, and seek their preservation from the relevant governments. The U.S. established the commission in 1985 to protect sites amid concerns of anti-Semitism and communism.
On Nov. 12, Beattie called a Huffington Post reporter a “neo-Stasi commissar” over Twitter, a reference to the state police service of East Germany.