Joaquin Castro Under Fire for Targeting Trump Supporters

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 25: Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) speaks during a news conference a
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Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is facing backlash for publicly targeting President Donald Trump’s political supporters.

Castro, whose twin brother Julian is seeking the 2020 Democrat nomination, released a list via social media on Monday containing the names of dozens of individuals, within his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, that contributed the maximum amount toTrump’s reelection campaign. Not only did the congressman post the names of the 44 individuals in question, he also included their occupations and employers.

“Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump,” Castro wrote on his unverified campaign account, before proceeding to list the individuals who are “fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.'”

Despite the contributors’ information being publicly available in Federal Election Commission filings, the manner in which Castro released the information and his explicit shaming of local business owners on the list raised concerns the congressman was targeting these individuals for harassment or worse.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was one of the first Republicans to denounce Castro’s action as “shameful and dangerous.”

The sentiment was quickly echoed by a number of others, including the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and both of the United States Senators from Texas.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who survived a politically motivated assassination attempt in 2017, took to social media himself to say that Castro’s list was dangerous and put lives “at stake.”

In the face of such backlash, Castro attempted to distance himself from the list by saying his staff was behind its creation. The congressman, though, defended his decision to share it, by claiming the Trump campaign “has stoked fear of brown-skinned immigrants.”

Hours later, Castro again defended his actions – this time from his official congressional Twitter account. In a reply to McCarthy, Castro wrote that “no one was targeted or harassed” by his sharing of the list. He further added that Republicans, like the minority leader, were trying to use his list to “distract from the racism that has overtaken the GOP.”

Democrats and their allies within the media, however, were quick to jump to Castro’s defense. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), no stranger to controversy herself, praised Castro for exposing to the public “who funds racism.”

Joe Scarborough, a one-time Republican congressman who now hosts a MSNBC morning show and writes songs praising “the resistance” to Trump, was particularly stringent in his defense of Castro. The MSNBC host claimed “any business” donating to the president’s reelection was “complicit” and “endorsing white supremacy.”

“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,” Scarboughouh wrote. “Donors’ names are on FEC reports. They are newsworthy.”


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