GOP congressman met with author who claims black people have 'violence gene' -- to discuss DNA
Far-right activist Chuck Johnson (left) walks with Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN, center) and Andy Harris (R-MD, right) in the House of Representatives. Image via HuffPost's Matt Fuller/Twitter.

Two Republican congressmen met with a far-right author who once claimed black people have a "violence gene" -- and claimed they did so to discuss DNA.


NBC News reported Thursday that Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Andy Harris (R-MD), who were on Wednesday photographed walking through the House of Representatives with far-right activist Chuck Johnson, claimed they were doing so to talk about the "increasing the number of sequenced genomes for research."

Johnson, Roe's statement read, represents a company that does work with DNA research -- though neither congressmen could identify the company when asked.

Immediately after HuffPost's Matt Fuller posted the photo that showed a man later confirmed as Johnson walking with Roe and Harris, reports about the far-right activist's racist views began to resurface.

In an interview with shock jock Joe Rogan from 2015, Johnson -- who, like many white nationalists, has an obsession with the genetics of minorities -- claimed that black people are genetically predisposed towards violence.

"Blacks have the MAOA gene that whites and Asians don't have," he told Rogan, "therefore blacks have a proclivity towards violence."

As HuffPost noted in its report on Johnson's meeting with the congressmen, he has a history of making white supremacist comments and actions that include Holocaust denial and the creation of a website used to crowdfund money for neo-Nazis and other racists barred from normal platforms.

After the meeting -- which took place days after the House passed a resolution denouncing white supremacy in the aftermath of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) appearing to embrace it -- Reps. Harris and Roe issued statements distancing themselves from Johnson, NBC noted.

"Of course I disavow and condemn white supremacy and anti-semitism," Harris said, claiming he was "unaware" of the activist's past statements.

A spokesperson for Roe told NBC News that Johnson's statements were "abhorrent" and that his racist views didn't come up during their conversation, which the representative claimed lasted only 10 minutes.