Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s (D-ND) brother suggested in a tweet on Wednesday that President Donald Trump will help potential victims of Hurricane Florence because “they’re white.”
Sen. Heitkamp’s brother, Joel Heitkamp, is a local North Dakota radio host. Heitkamp is a frequent guest on her brother’s radio show.
Joel Heitkamp tweeted on Wednesday that potential Hurricane Florence victims do not have to worry about the incoming storm because Trump will come to their aid because “they’re white,” implying that the president did not aid storm victims in Puerto Rico due to their Hispanic heritage.
— Joel Heitkamp (@JoelKFGO) September 12, 2018
Contrary to Joel’s tweet, the areas Hurricane Florence will affect feature significant black and Hispanic populations. According to 2017 census data, North Carolina is 22 percent black and 9.5 percent Hispanic; South Carolina is 27.3 percent black and 5.7 percent Hispanic; Florida is 16.9 percent black and 25.6 percent Hispanic; Georgia is 32.2 percent black and 9.6 Hispanic; and Virginia is 19.8 percent black and 9.4 percent Hispanic.
Heitkamp’s tweet comes the same day as the North Dakota Red Cross announced it will travel to North Carolina to help those caught in the wake of the hurricane.
North Dakota Red Cross Travels to North Carolina to Help During Hurricane https://t.co/GdrTsGQC4M
— Jake Wilkins (@JakeWilkns) September 12, 2018
Sen. Heitkamp has yet to respond to a request for comment from Breitbart News over whether the senator supports Joel’s statement and whether she plans to condemn her brother’s controversial tweet.
The radio host’s tweet echoes similar statements made by The Root politics editor Jason Johnson, who said that Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria was “what white nationalism looks like as policy.”
When you have a policy, when you have a belief that only white people are true Americans, Puerto Ricans are Americans — Donald Trump doesn’t care about that. Therefore he is attacking people and distracting from the fact that a response there to fellow American citizens has not been adequate.”
The local radio host’s controversial statement comes as leading strategists have put the race for Sen. Heitkamp’s re-election as “lean Republican” towards Heitkamp’s GOP challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
Hillary Clinton’s Priorities USA and Chuck Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC have recently announced several new digital ads to defend Sen. Heitkamp amid her competitive Senate race.
A local North Dakota outlet reported that Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC “has a history of playing fast and loose with the truth.”
North Dakota Republican Party Communications Director Jake Wilkins said that Schumer’s inaccurate ads will not distract voters from Heitkamp’s’ liberal voting record.
“Heidi Heitkamp campaigned aggressively for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and now Clinton is returning the favor,” Wilkins said. “Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer are on a mission to save their favorite Senator, but their factually inaccurate ads won’t distract from Heidi Heitkamp’s liberal record that North Dakotans oppose.”