Charlottesville White Supremacist Has Government Security Clearance With Defense Contractor: Report

A white nationalist from last year’s Unite the Right rally that left one person dead and dozens injured in Charlottesville, Virginia, reportedly works for a major government defense contractor and has security clearance.

Michael Miselis, a former UCLA graduate student and Northrop Grumman employee, was filmed pushing an African-American counterprotester to the ground and beating him, according to ProPublica and Frontline. He was also seen wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat.

In a statement to Newsweek, Northrop Grumman said the company was taking "immediate action" into investigating Miselis's alleged actions but did not say whether he was still employed or what the status of his security clearance was. The company also said it was just recently made aware of the allegations against Miselis, adding that they are "counter to our values."

"We do not tolerate hatred or illegal conduct, and we condemn racist activities in any shape or form," a Northrop Grumman spokesperson said in an email. 

Miselis had government security clearance for working in Grumman’s aerospace division, according to current and past employees with the company who spoke to ProPublica.

Grumman is one of the top five U.S. defense contractors, securing billions of dollars in government contracts each year. 

UCLA told Newsweek that Miselis, 29, who was previously pursuing a Ph.D. in the school's aerospace engineering program, did not take spring classes and was not currently enrolled to attend fall classes. 

When approached by reporters, Miselis told them that they had “the wrong guy” and that he “didn’t know anything” about the deadly white nationalist rally in Virginia last year.

Miselis is reportedly part of the Rise Above Movement (RAM), a white supremacist group in Southern California that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says operates like a “street-fighting club.”

“Members actively train to do physical battle with their ideological foes, and have been involved in violent clashes during political rallies and demonstrations,” ADL says on its website. “While they consider themselves part of the alt-right, R.A.M.’s membership has deep roots in California’s racist skinhead movement, and includes individuals who have faced serious criminal charges, including assault, robbery and weapon offenses.”

The group’s goal is to restore white culture and traditional Christian values, according to the ADL.

A 21-year-old accused of killing a counterprotester by hitting her with his car at the Charlottesville rally was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on 30 counts of federal hate crimes.

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