In the past 24 hours, Texas congressman Joaquin Castro has been told to resign, endured calls for his impeachment, and seen himself compared to a mass murderer. His transgression? Tweeting the names and occupations of San Antonio residents who have given the maximum personal contribution to President Trump’s reelection campaign.
Castro, whose bother Julián is running for president, sent the tweet late Tuesday, writing, “Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump.” He added: “Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
The image in the tweet listed the names and occupations of 44 people, while Castro called out a few names in the tweet itself, including “the owner of @BillMillerBarBQ, owner of the @HistoricPearl, [and] realtor Phyllis Browning.”
President Trump’s allies and campaign officials immediately accused Castro of “inviting harassment,” or worse.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise also criticized Castro, tweeting, “People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period. This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand.” Scalise was shot in 2017 by a gunman who targeted Republican lawmakers during practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy suggested Castro was tweeting out of desperation, as his brother’s presidential bid fails to catch on.
But Castro did not back away. He doubled down in another tweet pointing out that the information shared is available in public records, and no one was doxxed. In a reply to McCarthy, he wrote, “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?”
Castro had a harder time defending the tweet during an appearance on Morning Joe Tuesday, when host Willie Geist pressed him on the harassment the people mentioned in his tweet are sure to face.
The outrage at Castro continued into the morning when Donald Trump Jr. appeared on Fox & Friends and compared Castro to the man who murdered nine Americans in Ohio over the weekend.
“That list sort of screams like the Dayton, Ohio, shooter’s list, right?” Trump Jr. said of Castro’s tweet.
He also described Castro as a “radical left-wing politician who’s polling at about zero percent,” appearing to confuse him with his twin brother.