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MN Rep. Emmer, other GOPers, return contributions from white supremacist

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U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota is one of several Republican politicians who say they will return contributions they received from the head of a white supremacist group linked to last week's mass shooting at a Charleston church.

Earl Holt III, president of the Council of Conservative Citizens, has given tens of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and campaign committees over the past five years, including $500 to Emmer and $3,200 to his predecessor in the 6th Congressional District, Michele Bachmann, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Dylan Roof, the man accused of killing nine people at a black church in Charleston, S.C., last week, said he learned about "brutal black on white murders" from the Council of Conservative Citizens' website. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the council as a white supremacist organization.

Holt gave seven separate contributions to Bachmann between 2011 and 2013, and made his donation to Emmer's campaign in October, shortly before the November election. In Bachmann's campaign filings, Holt listed his occupation as "slumlord" on four of the contributions, according to the Times.

A spokeswoman for Emmer said as soon as his campaign learned about the contributions Monday morning, they wrote a check to return the money, the Star Tribune reports.

Bachmann did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The Guardian first reported that Holt has given more than $65,000 to Republicans in recent years, including presidential contenders Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and presumed candidate Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. The Guardian has a complete list of the recipients of Holt's contributions.

The Hill reports many of those recipients announced Monday they will either return the money or donate it to charity.

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