Top conservative figures and Trump administration officials gathered in Las Vegas over the weekend for a secret summit to discuss issues including ‘woke tech’ and ‘restoring law’.
The ‘Digital Statecraft Summit’ was hosted by the conservative think tank Claremont Institute, according to Protocol, which obtained a copy of the agenda and spoke to four people invited to attend.
Among the most high-profile attendees slated to speak at the event were US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and former deputy national security adviser Michael Anton.
Also on the schedule to speak was conservative legal scholar John Eastman, who helped rally President Donald Trump‘s supporters outside the White House before they stormed Capitol Hill on January 6.
Several major Silicon Valley firms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter responded to the Capitol riots by cracking down on conservative figures and platforms – including by suspending Trump’s accounts – perhaps prompting the summit’s focus on so-called ‘woke tech’.
One attendee who spoke to Protocol ahead of the summit said they expected the tone to be ‘very critical of tech, very pro some type of intervention’.
‘There’s going to be some discrepancy and debate around what intervention looks like,’ they said.
Top conservative figures and Trump administration officials gathered in Las Vegas over the weekend for a ‘Digital Statecraft Summit’ to discuss issues including ‘woke tech’ and ‘restoring law’. Among the attendees were Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (left) and US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios (right), according to Protocol
Also on the schedule to speak was conservative legal scholar John Eastman, who helped rally President Donald Trump’s supporters outside the White House before they stormed Capitol Hill on January 6. Eastman is seen left next to Rudy Giuliani at the ‘Save America’ rally
Former deputy national security adviser Michael Anton (pictured) was reportedly on a panel entitled: ‘The New Slave Power’
The attendee said the Claremont Institute appeared to be taking steps to keep the contents of the summit ‘under wraps’ – noting that they had not been given any information about who would be speaking just hours before it was set to kick off.
The Claremont Institute, which says its mission is to ‘restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life’, had not posted any promotional materials for the event on social media by the time the first panels began on Saturday.
The California-based group did not immediately return DailyMail.com’s requests for comment about why the summit was not promoted on its website.
Ryan Williams, president of the Claremont Institute, declined to answer various questions posed by Protocol ahead of the event.
The outlet specifically asked about a panel entitled ‘The New Slave Power’, and about what COVID-19 safety protocols were implemented for the event, which took place as Las Vegas grapples with a troubling surge in cases.
Claremont Institute President Ryan Williams (pictured) declined to answer various questions posed by Protocol ahead of the event
‘The Claremont Institute has been a leading voice against political censorship by the Big Tech oligarchs, and we have no interest in commenting on an obvious hatchet job by a publication so clearly beholden to the pieties of Silicon Valley,’ Williams told Protocol in an email.
‘Your questions are riddled with false premises, but we welcome the fire.’
Anton, who served as deputy national security adviser under Trump from February 2017 to April 2018, was slated to be on ‘The New Slave Power’ panel.
Anton recently wrote an essay entitled ‘Blue America Needs Red America’ for Claremont’s American Mind publication, in which he suggested that Democrats were ‘openly talking about staging a coup’ in an effort to ‘command and oppress’ Republicans.
Also on that panel was blogger Curtis Yarvin – pen name Mencius Moldbug – who has been dubbed the ‘favorite philosopher of the alt-right’ and has a history of sharing racially-charged sentiments on his blog Unqualified Reservations.
In one of his most widely-cited blog posts from 2007, Yarvin wrote: ‘Although I am not a white nationalist, I am not exactly allergic to the stuff.’
Blogger Curtis Yarvin (pictured) – who writes under the pen name Mencius Moldbug and has been dubbed the ‘favorite philosopher of the alt-right’ – was slated to speak on a panel entitled ‘The New Slave Power’
Kratsios, who joined the Trump administration as chief technology officer in 2019, was expected to speak at the summit about artificial intelligence and China, a source familiar with his planned remarks told Protocol.
Other topics on the agenda included a ‘Restoring Law’ panel and a fireside chat titled: ‘What happened?’
One of the top officials slated to speak Adam Candeub, the current acting head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
It was unclear which topic Candeub would be speaking on. The lawyer has linked up with white nationalists on several occasions, writing four Wall Street Journal op-eds with Marcus Epstein and representing Jared Taylor in a lawsuit against Twitter in 2018.
It was also unclear what Eastman, the conservative legal scholar, would be speaking about.
Last week Eastman retired from his position as an endowed professor and constitutional law scholar at Chapman University amid an uproar over the speech he gave at the White House before the Capitol riots.
During that speech Eastman pushed several unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud by the Democrats, including that ‘secret folders’ inside ballot-counting machines skewed the results in Georgia.
One of the top officials slated to speak Adam Candeub (pictured), the current acting head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Also listed as a speaker was Josh Steinman, who recently left his post as the White House National Security Council’s senior director for cyber.
Steinman’s LinkedIn profile now describes him as the founder of a ‘stealth startup’. The ‘about’ section of his profile states: ‘Whenever serious and competent people need to get things done in the real world, all considerations of tradition and protocol fly out the window.’
Texas AG Paxton was also on the agenda, but it wasn’t clear which sections he would be speaking at. DailyMail.com has reached out to his office for comment.
Paxton, a staunch Republican, is currently leading a multi-state anti-trust lawsuit against Google and recently headed-up a failed bid to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election victory in a handful of battleground states.
The FBI is currently investigating claims that Paxton abused his power to benefit a wealthy donor.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seen right during the ‘Save America’ rally outside the White House on January 6. He was listed as a speaker at the Vegas summit
Nathan Simington, who recently became FCC commissioner after having been nominated to the post by Trump, was also listed on the agenda – but told Protocol that he did not attend.
‘Despite initial plans to do so, I did not attend or otherwise participate in the Claremont event this weekend, and I did not prepare or submit remarks,’ Simington told Protocol.
Soylent founder Rob Rhinehart (pictured) was also expected to speak at the summit
Rob Rhinehart, founder of Soylent, a brand of meal-replacement drinks, was also expected to speak at the summit.
Rhinehart stepped down as CEO of Soylent in 2017 – remaining on the board – before making headlines last year when he began sharing bizarre political opinions and conspiracy theories on his blog ‘Mostly Harmless’.
Among his most noteworthy blog posts were one voicing support for rapper Kanye West’s presidential bid, one about ‘The Fall of Silicon Valley’ and one with a false claim that Biden ‘threw innocent Guatemalans in jail because they did not give a government contract to his company Hunter Medical Devices’.
It is unclear where the Digital Statecraft Summit was held in Las Vegas or how many people attended.
The event took place as the Republican Party faces a reckoning over its alignment with Trump and right-wing conspiracy theorists accused of inciting the Capitol riots which left five people dead.