A State Department foreign affairs officer has been suspended for leading a double life as a white supremacist activist.
Matthew Q. Gebert’s, suspension from the Bureau of Energy Resources was announced on August 8, after his affiliation with hate groups was exposed by the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s (SPLC) Hatewatch blog. SPLC fights hate and bigotry and monitors and exposes the activities of American extremist groups.
State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus declined to comment about Gebert’s suspension during an August 8 press briefing.
Gebert who lives outside of Washington, D.C. in Leesburg, Virginia, said that he became radicalized in 2015. Since then, the 38-year-old has actively recruited white nationalists and supported alt-right activities.
Hatewatch reported that Gebert knew his job was at risk if his affiliation with alt-right groups was uncovered, but said on the white nationalist podcast The Fatherland that he felt there were “bigger things than a career and a paycheck.”
“I am prepared to lose [my job]. Because this is the most important thing to me in my life … in tandem with my family, of course.”
Gebert graduated in 2011 with an M.A. from The George Washington University. Before joining the State Department, Gebert worked for the U.S. Energy Association and the U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute. Very few photos exist online of Gebhert, however, the USTTI has several in its 2005 catalog.
Gebert joined the State Department in 2013 after being selected as a Presidential Management Fellow. The fellowship is described as a “flagship leadership development program,” for development government leaders.
Here’s what you need to know about Matthew Gebert and his ties to the white nationalist movement.
1. Gebert had Several Online Aliases, but Often Went by “Coach Finstock”
Using several pseudonyms including “Coach Finstock,” Gebert actively commented about white nationalism on Twitter from 2015-2019 until his accounts were recently suspended. He used a variety of handles including @TotalWarCoach, @Cue1933, @WeWonFam, @Q1776, @DissentCoach, @NeverCuck, @RisenCoach, @RevengeCoach, @TerminalAmerica, and @UnbowedCoach. Gebert’s WeWonFam was also posting on Gab, an internet site popular with extremists.
While running for the Republican nomination, Candidate Donald Trump tweeted to Gebert at @Q1176.
Gebert used social media to discuss topics with a white nationalist slant. “For posterity, here’s my best guess. Pennsylvania and Michigan whites save the day,” he wrote on the eve of the 2016 election.
Gebert was also friendly with white nationalist podcasters Michael “Enoch” Peinovich and “Marcus Halberstram.” Peinovich is the founder of the alt-right blog, “The Right Stuff” (TRS), and the podcast “The Daily Shoah.” Shoah is the Hebrew word for “Holocaust.” Halberstram is the creator of the “Angry White Men” blog and the podcast “Fash the Nation.”
2. Gebert’s Wife Has Also Been Identified as a White Nationalist
Gebert is married to Anna Vuckovic, 38, also identified by Hatewatch as a white nationalist. Blog posts and tweets allegedly written by Vuckovic using the pseudonym “Wolfie James” deal with dating, marriage and family advice for white supremacists. According to Hatewatch, four different sources have identified Vuckovic as “Wolfie James.” Hatewatch reached out to Vuckovic and she denied the allegation.
In 2017, “Wolfie James” wrote “7 Reasons Why Alt-Right Men Are The Hottest,” an essay on the benefits of marrying a white nationalist.
The essay claims that “the masculinity (alt-right men) exude is positively intoxicating,” and that an alt-right man is better groomed, wears nicer clothing and is more fit than other men because he “believes he has a duty to perfect his physique.” It goes on to say that alt-right men “celebrate women for the most vital biological gift of all: the ability to birth and raise white children.”
In a 2016 post for TRS, “Wolfie James” wrote “How to Red Pill Your Woman.” “Red pill” is a slang term for radically changing someone’s opinion. It describes women as being “more emotional than rational,” and explains how a man can successfully convince his wife or girlfriend to accept white supremacy. “If you try to explain the concept of white genocide as if you were a shitlord professor, don’t be surprised when she refuses to grasp it,” she wrote.
The essay claims that “women are constantly stressed out,” and suggests men can use that to their advantage. “Once you get her thinking about the maddening racial hypocrisies of our age, stress her to the breaking point with devastating hate facts.” The piece then encourages men to “figure out what triggers her and steadily fan those flames.”
3. Gebert Headed Up a Local White Nationalist Group Called “The D.C. Helicopter Pilots”
Gebert helped lead a group called the D.C. Helicopter Pilots, a chapter of Peinovich’s TRS network. Hatewatch believes the term “Helicopter Pilots” refers to former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s practice of killing political opponents by throwing them out of helicopters. Extremists have been known to chant “free helicopter ride” when discussing someone they oppose.
Using TRS’ online message board for recruiting members in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, Gebert would invite other alt-right sympathizers to meetings he discreetly called “pool parties.”
“Hello future comrades. Drop me a [direct message] if you are interested in getting involved. Not playing too cool for school, but getting added to the [D.C. Helicopter Pilots] group here ‘comes later,’” he wrote.
4. Gebert & Vuckovic Associated with Holocaust Denier David Irving
In June 2017, Gebert and Vuckovic joined British Nazi sympathizer David Irving for a private dinner party at a Washington, D.C. hotel. The invitation was extended to the “Coach,” “Wolfie” and local “Pilots.”
Irving is a discredited historian and avowed Holocaust denier. He calls the Auschwitz concentration camp where 1 million people were killed by the Nazi regime a “tourist attraction,” and believes Jewish writer Anne Frank’s diary is a forgery.
According to individuals in attendance, the dinner conversation revolved around several anti-semitic topics but focused on the “Jewish question,” the false belief that Jews secretly control the world’s banking and media industries.
The now 81-year-old Irving confirmed to Hatewatch that the dinner took place. “There was one gentleman, whom I will not name, that could have been from State.”
5. Gebert Donated to a White Nationalist’s 2018 Congressional Campaign
In January 2018, Gebert donated $200 to Wisconsin Republican and white nationalist Paul Nehlen’s Congressional campaign. Hatewatch noted that Gebert lives in Virginia, 750 miles away from Nehlen. Nehlen ran unsuccessfully against Bryan Steil in 2018 and Paul Ryan in 2016 before being banned by the Republican Party for his intolerant views.
One of Nehlen’s campaign slogans was “It’s ok to be white.” Nehlen, whose fan base calls him “Uncle Paul,” supports terrorist activities that advance alt-right philosophy. After the El Paso shooting, Hatewatch noted that Nehlen re-posted a comment from someone using the alias “Pure Hate” which read “Clean up in aisle 4!” a reference to the shooting taking place in Walmart.
“Poop, incest, and pedophilia. Why are those common themes repeated so often with Jews?” he wrote tweeted. Nehlen also posted racist tweets about the Duchess of Sussex and former actress Meghan Markle before he was banned from Twitter.
Gebert’s donation may be a violation of the Hatch Act, a law which prohibits employees of the Executive branch of government from taking part in certain types of political activities.