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Far-Right Infighting: & the America First Foundation

2 December 2023

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The 2023 iteration of the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) was held on 4 March at a hotel across from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a location that America First founder Nick Fuentes sought to keep secret. A hotel employee questioned by Hatewatch described AFPAC as a “private event” and declined to give details of the start time; prior to the date, Fuentes stated on Telegram that he would provide details after former US President Donald Trump’s CPAC speech.


This latest version of AFPAC was more subdued than its predecessors. Beginning in 2020, the event brings together white nationalists and prominent hard-right lawmakers. Yet this year, Fuentes repeatedly referred to the event as a only “rally” in his Telegram posts before saying on the platform that he had decided to postpone the fourth AFPAC because “we got no play here in DC.” Later, CPAC ejected Fuentes along with several followers. This was Fuentes’ first major public appearance since some of his closest collaborators split with the movement, and betrays the cracks that may be appearing in the far-right streamer’s circle. (1)

Following Fuentes’ ban from most major streaming and social media platforms – including a Twitter ban that followed a Hatewatch report into the far-right’s use of the website (2) – Fuentes founded in 2021, a streaming platform designed without the content moderation standards commonly held elsewhere. is branded as “the new home for live streams” (3) and a platform that prides itself on allowing free speech. It has become a new home for many hard-right content creators, showing Alex Jones’ ‘Infowars’ show, along with Fuente’s own show ‘America First’, which he can no longer stream on YouTube. 


In 2022, former associates of Fuentes made accusations that was inflating viewer counts on content, giving the impression that its creators were much more watched than they were. Simon Dickermn and Jaden McNeil, former Fuentes associates, appeared on an hours-long livestream of the online show ‘Kino Casino’ on 6 May 2023, where they made allegations that Fuentes deliberately displayed inflated viewer counts on in the hopes of boosting the perception of the site and his fellow streamers’ popularity. Dickerman later repeated these claims on Twitter, saying that Fuentes had also inflated viewer counts on episodes of his own podcast. These claims were not able to be verified externally by the Digital Forensic Research Lab, as they stated more information was needed to determine their veracity. (4)

The America First Foundation

In the ‘Kino Casino’ interview, McNeil states that he served as the Treasurer of Fuentes’ non-profit, the America First Foundation, yet he insists he did so only on paper, and that he has no idea what is happening “behind the scenes” in the organization’s finances. McNeil also states that he was only ever paid $1,000 by Fuentes – for filming a 17-day road trip; however, he did live in Fuentes' Chicago basement without paying rent. McNeil, who was 20 at the time, says he was told by Fuentes that he needed to act as the America First Foundation Treasurer because Fuentes needed “dox people” for public records. (5)

As well as McNeil being the Treasurer, Michelle Malkin (a far-right commentator) was documented  as the Director. Both of these appointments are confirmed in the paperwork of the America First Foundation, which lists Feuntes as the CEO and President, and then McNeil and Malkin as Treasurer and Director respectively. (6) It is unclear how much knowledge or sway McNeil had within Fuente’s inner circle, and he also retained his own income as a far-right streamer. In addition, McNeil received $20,832  in Covid-19 relief funding from the US federal Government on 27 May 2021, to continue funding his streaming work. These funds were given out to “independent artists, writers and performers” to support self-employed people during the economic upheaval of the pandemic. These funds are loans, but can be forgiven by the Government  under certain circumstances; it is unclear whether McNeil’s loan has been forgiven. (7)


Among other accusations that McNeil makes during the ‘Kino Casino’ interview, he states that Fuentes had $500,000 taken off him by the federal Government, but that it was returned to him. He states that Fuentes neglected to tell his followers it had been returned, and continued to use its absence as justification to raise more money from his Groyper viewers, while in fact buying a $70,000 car with the money he had recouped. McNeil insists that there were other things “I was never comfortable” with, but that he cannot give more detail for legal reasons. He does however state that it is difficult for people to leave America First, and that he has been threatened by Fuentes with the release of his personal information; in the same interview, Dickerman states that he spent the day of his son’s birth working for Fuentes. Dickerman asserts that he was also threatened by Fuentes when he left the America First movement. (5) 

The US Far-right & Financial Regulation is owned by a parent company named Trollge LLC (presumably named after the meme). While LLCs are a commonly used type of business in America, they are also often used by extremists to hide their financial dealings from activists, law enforcement and political opposition. (8) LLCs separate the assets of a company from the individual owning that company, and while the accounts of public companies (those with shareholders) are publicly accessible, those of private companies are not. Consequently, the finances of are inaccessible, because the company has never been taken public.


In contrast, the records of the America First Foundation are publicly accessible. The foundation’s last filing was in the fiscal year ending June 2022, and shows that it is tax exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Commonly used by charities, this exemption means that “none of its [the organization’s] income may insure to any private shareholder or individual” and the organization “may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates”. Organizations with a 501(c)(3) exemption are therefore limited as to the amount and type of lobbying and other political activities they are able to engage in lawfully; while able to advocate for causes, they cannot back specific political candidates. (8) 


The America First Foundation states in its 990 EZ filing that its purpose is to “educate, promote, and advocate for conservative values based on principles of American nationalism, Christianity, and traditionalism” (9) but Fuentes himself has expressed personal desires to bring the Republican party further right and has even been associated with Ye’s short-lived election campaign. The organization’s tax exemption status has changed during only a few years. First incorporated in 2021, the America First Foundation was originally a 501(c)(4), but in 2022 was changed to a 501(c)(3). (9, 10) While both 501(c)(4)s and 501(c)(3)s are tax exempt, donations to 501(c)(4)s are not tax deductible, while donations to the America First Foundation as of 2022 are in fact tax deductible. The America First Foundation has not donated to or backed specific political candidates. However, the lobbying tracking website Open Secrets has listed donations from organizations and individuals declaring America First affiliation to America First Action ($1,808,302), Make America Great Again Action ($1,787,901), and the Republican Party of Connecticut ($10,000) during the 2022 election cycle, as well as a number of specific political candidates. (11) 


There remain questions surrounding the movement of money throughout the various far-right and conservative movements in the US, with a pro-Trump 501(c)(4) non-profit giving millions of dollars to an array of conservative groups in 2020, also shown by a tax filing from the group, then known as America First Works. (12) Through complex arrangements of charitable foundations, shell companies and LLCs, political extremists are often able to disguise their lobbying or other political work. It remains to be seen, however, if Fuentes’ own movement will rally around him: after the desertion of McNeil and Dickerman, he has seemingly struggled to climb back to the heights he enjoyed merely a few years ago, and the backlash following the claims of inflated viewer counts on mark a point of diversion, as far-right supporters have previously been more accepting of such foibles from their heroes. Whether this turning point is a change in the far-right, or confined to Fuentes, and down to him eliciting specific dislike, who can say. Publicly available Semrush data shows that the bounce rate of as of July 2023 is over 78%, meaning almost everyone who lands on the site leaves without a single click, and Fuentes’ appearances have among other things involved him detailing his liking for 16-year-old girls. (13, 14) What is clear, is that the 2023 AFPAC event was anticlimactic compared to its previous versions, and Fuentes’ ejection from the more established CPAC had slightly symbolic undertones.

Works Cited (Chicago-style)

  1. Gais, Hannah; Newton, Creede. ‘Nick Fuentes Holds Racist Conference Across From CPAC’. Southern Poverty Law Center. 4 March 2023. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  2. Edison Hayden, Michael. ‘“We Make Mistakes”: Twitter’s Embrace of the Extreme Far Right’. Southern Poverty Law Center. 7 July 2021. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  3. ‘About’. Cozy.TV. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  4. Holt, Jared. ‘Allegations of Platform Manipulation Stir Tensions in Online White Nationalist Movement’. Medium. 25 May 2022. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  5. Xyzerb 2.‘Mister Metokur on the Kino Casino with chat [05-06-22]’. 14 February 2023. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  6. America First Foundation 990 EZ Filing, 2021. IRS. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  7. Gais, Hannah; Squire, Megan. ‘Far-Right LiveStreamer Who Attended Capitol Insurrection Got Federal Pandemic Relief Funds’. Southern Poverty Law Center. 24 February 2022. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  8. Gais, Hannah. ‘Far-Right Extremists Gather in Florida for CPAC Spin Off Alongside Sitting Congressman”. Southern Poverty Law Center. 11 March 2021. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  9.  Full filing, America First Foundation. June 2022. ProPublica. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  10.  Full filing, America First Foundation. April 2021. ProPublica. Accessed 26 August 2023.  

  11.  ‘America First, Summary’. Open Secrets. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  12.  ‘Pro-Trump nonprofit gives millions to groups boosting his agenda’. Levine, Carrie. The Center for Public Integrity. 20 November 2021. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  13., July 2023 traffic stats. Semrush. Accessed 26 August 2023. 

  14.  Right Wing Watch. @RightWingWatch. Fuentes, Nick. Interview, ‘As Fuck’. 17 May 2023. Accessed 26 August. 

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