Congress

Trump campaign: Rep. Joaquin Castro inciting violence by publicizing donors

Julián Castro’s twin brother tweeted names of Trump donors in aftermath of mass shootings

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s campaign, under fire for depictions of Latin American immigrants that were apparently appropriated by the accused mass shooter in El Paso, Texas, blasted back at Rep. Joaquin Castro on Tuesday for posting some names of the president’s campaign contributors on Twitter. 

“Democrats want to talk about inciting violence? This naming of private citizens and their employers is reckless and irresponsible,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement. “He is endangering the safety of people he is supposed to be representing.”

Castro, a Texas Democrat, is the twin brother of Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Joaquin Castro joined a chorus of Democrats who seized on Trump's rhetoric in the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, shootings, which have left 31 people dead. He also pointed a finger at Trump’s campaign contributors, listing the names and employers of 44 people from San Antonio described as “maximum donors,” to the Trump campaign. 

“Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders,’” the congressman wrote. 

Trump has repeatedly referred to Latino immigrants as invaders, language that was mirrored in a manifesto believed to have been posted online by the accused El Paso gunman, Patrick Crusius. The document railed against immigration, saying, “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

The Trump campaign called for Julian Castro to delete the tweet and apologize, and for his brother’s campaign to disavow it.

“No one should be targeted for exercising their First Amendment rights or for their political beliefs,” Murtaugh said.

The congressman responded on Twitter, saying the tweet contained “publicly reported info” that did not include private or personal details such as addresses or phone numbers.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot during the Republican baseball practice in 2017, condemned Castro, citing his “firsthand” experience with a random violence.

Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine said she was not aware of another example of a sitting member publicizing the names of donors to a political rival.  

“This seems unprecedented and egregious,” she said.

Names, addresses, occupations and employers of donors to federal candidates and committees are public records, published regularly by the government on the Federal Election Commission’s website.

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