In the wake of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 dead and injured dozens of others, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) — who is the brother of former HUD secretary Julián Castro and the campaign chairman of his 2020 presidential campaign — doxed 44 individual San Antonio Trump supporters via Twitter.
The Democrat posted their names, contributions to Trump, and their employers, and smeared them as peddlers of racism that fueled a mass murder.
“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump — the owner of [redacted], owner of the [redacted], realtor [redacted], etc.,” wrote Castro. “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.'” He included a link to a total of 44 individual donors.
Tim Murtaugh, the director of communications for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, slammed Castro, demanding an apology and deletion of the tweet.
“How low have Dems sunk?” posted Murtaugh. “This is Joaquin Castro, Congressman & chair of his brother’s campaign. Naming private citizens & their employers, targeting them for political views and exercising 1st Amendment rights. Should delete & apologize. Castro campaign should disavow.”
How low have Dems sunk?
This is Joaquin Castro, Congressman & chair of his brother's campaign.
Naming private citizens & their employers, targeting them for political views and exercising 1st Amendment rights.
Should delete & apologize. Castro campaign should disavow. pic.twitter.com/5MSJPBBaF0
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) August 6, 2019
Castor, however, has doubled down on the tweet, and received support from other Trump opponents, like freshman Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
“No one was targeted or harassed in my post. You know that. All that info is routinely published,” Castro defended his post in response to Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “You’re trying to distract from the racism that has overtaken the GOP and the fact that President Trump spends donor money on thousands of ads about Hispanics ‘invading’ America.”
“Donald Trump has put a target on the back of millions. And you’re too cowardly or agreeable to say anything about it. How about I stop mentioning Trump’s public campaign donors and he stops using their money for ads that fuel hate?” he added.
Donald Trump has put a target on the back of millions. And you’re too cowardly or agreeable to say anything about it.
How about I stop mentioning Trump’s public campaign donors and he stops using their money for ads that fuel hate?
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) August 7, 2019
“Chairman Castro, They don’t like it when you name their donors,” Tlaib responded to the doxxing. “The public needs to know who funds racism,” she added, confirming her support for the tweet.
Chairman Castro, They don't like it when you name their donors. The public needs to know who funds racism. https://t.co/7qfg1RT79y
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 7, 2019
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough also supported Castro. “Any business that donates to Trump is complicit and endorses the white supremacy he espoused in Charlottesville, with his ‘send her back’ chants, and by laughing at shouts that Hispanic immigrants should be shot. Donors’ names are on FEC reports. They are newsworthy,” he argued.
Any business that donates to Trump is complicit and endorses the white supremacy he espoused in Charlottesville, with his “send her back” chants, and by laughing at shouts that Hispanic immigrants should be shot. Donors’ names are on FEC reports. They are newsworthy.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) August 6, 2019
Commentator Terrence K. Williams called Castro’s stunt “Downright dirty and wrong!” and called for his impeachment. #ImpeachJoaquinCastro is currently trending on Twitter.
DOWNRIGHT DIRTY & WRONG❗️
Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro Tweeted Personal Information of Private Citizens who donated to Trump!
I’M CALLING FOR HIS IMPEACHMENT!
Who’s with me?
Let’s Get this to the Top! They want to bury it!
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) August 6, 2019
“Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to ‘when they go low, we go high?’” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, referring to former first lady Michelle Obama’s viral mantra. “Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1%? Americans deserve better.”
Steve Scalise, the House minority whip, who was gravely wounded two years ago when a gunman targeting Republicans opened fire on GOP lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game, said he knows personally how dangerous such moves could be.
“People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period,” he tweeted. “This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake.”
He added: “I know this firsthand.”
Castro responded to the criticism with a flurry of defensive tweets to Murtaugh and journalists who had criticized him.
The graphic didn’t contain “private or personal info — no addresses or phone #, etc,” he wrote. “It’s publicly reported info printed in newspapers routinely from the @nyt to the @dcexaminer. You know that.”
He also doubled down on the initial sentiment, saying the Trump campaign “has stoked fear of brown-skinned immigrants.” Castro also pointed out that the campaign had used donor money to pay for more than 2,000 ads on Facebook echoing the anti-immigrant language used by the El Paso suspect.
“That is truly dangerous for millions,” Castro added. “Will you commit not to run another ad like that?”
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