One of President Trump’s biggest white nationalist Twitter boosters — who spread anti-Semitic and racist views and nicknamed himself after Charlie Sheen’s character in “Major League” — has been revealed to be a 28-year-old Manhattanite in the finance industry.
During the 2016 election, Ricky Vaughn had tens of thousands of followers. He regularly tweeted pro-Trump talking points, far-right hate speech and Russian-backed propaganda, blurring the lines between them. According to the MIT Media Lab, he was more influential on the election than NBC News, the Drudge Report or Stephen Colbert.
Vaughn had remained anonymous until last week. HuffPost reported that he’s actually Douglass Mackey, 28, “a smart and well-heeled, urbane cosmopolitan elite” who graduated from Middlebury College, lives in Manhattan and worked as an economist at Dunham & Associates until summer 2016. He grew up in Middlebury, Vermont, the son of a tax lobbyist and former aide to Republican Sen. Jim Jeffords.
Vaughn/Mackey had been a far-right extremist on Twitter and podcasts since at least early 2016. On his podcasts, Vaughn frequently expressed anti-Semitic and racist views, such as “the good people are siding with nationalism and the Shabbos goyim shills and the neocohens are siding with the globalists.” He said he wanted to “introduce ideas of racial consciousness into the mix so that patriotic American conservatives don’t feel bad about creating all-White communities and shunning mixed-marriages and that sort of thing, because we need racial separatism in order to maintain our unique culture and racial heritage.” He also heavily retweeted @TEN_GOP, the pro-Trump account that was later linked to the Kremlin and deactivated.
Mackey’s own @Ricky_Vaughn99 account was suspended by Twitter right before the election, but he moved over to an account named @RapinBill. In a now-deleted tweet, he recently harassed Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida: “You’re a crass, craven, disgusting worm. Smiling and laughing and taking selfies in the wake of a massacre,” he wrote. “Why? Because you’ve punched your ticket now. You’re famous, just like you always wanted to be. A little theatre whore. Dance for the cameras, monkey.”
Mackey’s last address was on Lexington Avenue in the Carnegie Hill section of Manhattan; that’s where he was registered to vote in the 2016 election as a Republican. Mackey wiped his social media accounts after his identity was revealed by white nationalist politician Paul Nehlen last Monday, HuffPost says. But reporter Luke O’Brien was able to track down his parents anyway. Scott and Kathy Mackey of Middlebury, Vermont, said: “We were devastated to learn this week of Doug’s beliefs and on-line activities as reported in the Huffington Post. They are antithetical to the values we hold and with which he was raised. We are still trying to understand how he could have done something like this and hope he will find some way to make amends for the harm he has caused.”