Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Chip Somodevilla, Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool, Alex Wong, Bureau of Prisons, Denver Post via Getty Images

A growing number of elected Republicans are openly promoting "white replacement theory," a decades-old conspiracy theory that's animated terrorist attacks, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Why it matters: This mainstreams what once was the sole provenance of white supremacists.

What it is: "White replacement theory" posit the existence of a plot to change America's racial composition by methodically enacting policies that reduce white Americans' political power.

  • The conspiracies encompass strains of anti-Semitism as well as racism and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Driving the news: Fox News host Tucker Carlson has for years alluded to elements of replacement theory. Former President Trump emboldened some believers, as well, including by retweeting accounts that identified themselves as believers in "white genocide."

  • Carlson's recent defiance, in the face of the Anti-Defamation League's calls for him to resign, have put these conspiracies back into the spotlight, along with the pronouncements of some high-profile elected officials.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) last week tweeted an explicit endorsement of WRT. Gaetz later tweeted that he doesn't think of replacement "solely on race/ethnicity terms," blaming "the Left" for taking him out of context.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Other Republican officials have endorsed tenets of WRT without explicitly using the term.

  • Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick recently told Fox News' Laura Ingraham that the Biden administration's immigration policy is designed to eventually create a giant new group of Democratic voters and "every one of them [will have] two or three children."
  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said during a committee hearing in April: "For many Americans, what seems to be happening, or what they believe right now is happening, is, what appears to them is, we're replacing national-born American — native-born Americans, to permanently transform the landscape of this very nation."

Spokespeople for Gaetz and Patrick did not respond to requests for comment for this story. Perry's office declined to comment on the record about his comments, and a Fox News spokesperson declined comment.

Between the lines: Victims' advocates say giving credence to conspiracy theories could encourage violence.

  • In 2019, a gunman inspired by WRT killed 23 people at a Walmart in Patrick's state of Texas. A gunman inspired by WRT killed 11 people at a synagogue in Perry's state of Pennsylvania in 2018.

How we got here: Far-right and white supremacist groups in the U.S. and Europe have latched onto several iterations of these conspiracies, accusing liberals of plotting against white people either with public policy or violence.

  • "White genocide" is believed to have been coined by the late David Lane, an American neo-Nazi who in 1984 was convicted for his role in the murder of Jewish radio host Alan Berg.
  • Lane was part of a domestic terrorist group called The Order, named after a fictional terrorist group in a racist book called The Turner Diaries, which inspired Timothy McVeigh and other mass murderers.
  • The Turner Diaries and another WRT novel called The Camp of the Saints recently saw their online values surge.

A "reconquista" theory, similar to WRT, spread for years in the American Southwest. Some conservatives promoted claims about Mexican Americans wanting California, New Mexico and other swaths of the region to be given to Mexico.

  • Lou Dobbs in 2006 drew charges of racism from Latino academics and activists after telling viewers about such supposed designs.

"Replacement theory" or the "great replacement" was popularized in Europe in the 2000s, as believers argued that native white Europeans were being systematically supplanted by non-white immigrants.

  • In the U.S., the "replacement theory" and "white genocide" rhetoric and movements seemed to merge as white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Va., for the "Unite the Right" rally that turned deadly in 2017.

The bottom line: WRT is racist. And some U.S. politicians and highly rated TV pundits are saying the quiet part out loud.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Nov 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump eyes digital media empire to take on Fox News

Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News and undermine the conservative-friendly network, sources tell Axios.

The state of play: Some Trump advisers think Fox News made a mistake with an early call (seconded by AP) of President-elect Biden's win in Arizona. That enraged Trump, and gave him something tangible to use in his attacks on the network.

2 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.