Marines investigate former GOP chair's son for white supremacy ties
Speaker 1: (00:00)
The Marine Corps has launched an investigation into the son of San Diego's former Republican party chairman for ties to a white supremacist group. Victor kava is a Marine Corps reservist he's accused of trying to join Patriot front a far right group that preaches racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia the case. Once again, highlighting the threat of far right extremism in the military and in San Diego county politics. Joining me to unpack this story is Andrew Dyer who covers military and veteran issues for the San Diego union Tribune. Andrew, welcome.
Speaker 2: (00:35)
Hi, thanks for having me.
Speaker 1: (00:37)
Let's start with how this investigation got started. So last month, the progressive media collective unicorn riot published a trove of private chats, belonging to Patriot front. So tell us, what is this group and what was in those leaked chats? Well,
Speaker 2: (00:53)
Unicorn riot is, uh, an activist kind of collective, uh, that, uh, you know, who's affiliates info trait, extremist groups, um, and once they're allowed in, they will run software and kind of scrape everything that they can find, um, in whatever app the group might be using to communicate. Their first big hit was in 2017. They got all of the chat logs from the, the unite, the right rally in Charlottesville, their planners. A couple years later, they leaked a bunch of chats from a, a video game communication app, uh, from several different groups. And, uh, this latest one from Patriot front is kind of along the same vein, you know, uh, activists were able to infiltrate the group. And once in they published everything on the, a website that they collect.
Speaker 1: (01:45)
No, it was the activated podcast, which is based in San Diego. That first noticed similarities between one of the applicants to this group, Patriot front in these chats and Victor KVA. So tell us who is Victor KVA and what evidence is there to suggest that he was the one who trying to join this white supremacist group?
Speaker 2: (02:05)
Oh, uh, Victor KU. Um, as far as I can tell, um, I, I, I didn't get to talk to him, but, um, you know, he, he's a college student. He is a Marine Corps reservist. He's had a couple different jobs, um, whether or not he still has those jobs is, is kind of unclear. Um, at one point he will worked for a contractor for, uh, the department of Homeland security handling detainees. He also, um, is listed as, uh, an employee at his, his father's financial firm. So that's kind of, what's publicly known about Victor. Now, there was an incident in, in 2020 where activists at a black lives matter alley say he was harassing protestors. They, they published, uh, photos of him in his car on, on social media at the time. And obviously the, the kava family is kind of known among the political community here and the kava sons, two sons of, of, of Cova Victor and Oliver are known because Oliver was the head of the, uh, San Diego state college Republicans. So these are people that were already kind of on the radar of, of activists. So when these chats were leaked, you know, the Southern poverty law center published a story about all of the people trying to join the group who claimed military ties. And one of the people highlighted in that story just kind of, uh, fit the bill with what was publicly known about Victor art
Speaker 1: (03:39)
And Tony rebar of course, is the former chairman of the San Diego county Republican party. Uh, tell us, Andrew, how big is the problem of white supremacy and extremism in the military? You
Speaker 2: (03:51)
Know, it's, it's tough to quantify because you don't know what people believe in, in their, in their heart. But I know from the high level perspective of the Pentagon and the secretary of defense, they see this as a threat to, to the military. Um, several people who have, you know, either participated in, in violence or, uh, shown to be members of extremist groups, um, are either prior military or, you know, current military. Um, there were several people pointed to from the January 6th, you know, capital insurrection. There's been other individuals that have come to light in the past. One of whom was as assaulted people, um, at that not the right rally in, in 2017 in Charlottesville. But, you know, these cases are really kind of case by case the, the military doesn't really actively, uh, pursue or investigate people. Um, they're not policing their social media posts. It's really the people that come to the attention of activists and journalists that kind of get the military to, you know, take action. And, and, and by action is to, you know, investigate.
Speaker 1: (05:09)
Now Tony KVA, the father of Victor KVA is no longer the chair of the San Diego county Republican party, but he was in that position for almost 14 years, have current officials with the Diego county, G O P said anything about this story or about right wing extremism in their own ranks.
Speaker 2: (05:28)
I haven't seen it if they have, and it's never been established, you know, how much Tony kava may or may not know about the alleged activities of his, of his children. I, I, I did send him an email with several questions about what's in these chats and, and, and other things that, um, have kind of been bubbling up through the years. And he, he, you know, he did not respond. So it is, it is tough to gauge how much this is really, uh, concerning to, to people within the
Speaker 1: (06:00)
Party. All right. Well, lots, uh, still uncover with this story. I've been speaking with Andrew Dyer who covers military and veterans issues for the San Diego union Tribune. Andrew, thanks for joining us. Hey, thank you.
Victor Krvaric, a Marine reservist and son of former San Diego County Republican Party chairman Tony Krvaric, is under investigation by the Marine Corps for allegedly trying to join the white supremacist group Patriot Front.
The investigation came after a trove of private chats belonging to Patriot Front were published online by the progressive media collective Unicorn Riot. One of the chats involves an applicant to the group whose biographical details are similar to Krvaric's.
The resemblance between Krvaric and the unnamed applicant to Patriot Front was first reported on Twitter by The Activated Podcast.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Andrew Dyer joined KPBS Midday Edition to talk about the allegations and the Marine Corps's investigation.