Politics

Nigel Farage to Attend Barletta Fundraiser

British politician was leading Brexit advocate, criticized over anti-Semitic remarks

Republican Rep. Lou Barletta, who is challenging Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, will hold a fundraiser with U.K. Brexit advocate Nigel Farage. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the most vocal advocates for the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union will campaign with Republican Rep. Lou Barletta in Pennsylvania.

Nigel Farage, who was head of the U.K. Independence Party, was one of the most vocal advocates for Brexit and is a major supporter of President Donald Trump.

Farage will campaign with Barletta, who is challenging Democratic incumbent Bob Casey for the Senate, in Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania, in a private fundraiser, the Citizens’ Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre reported.

Barletta spokesman David Jackson said Farage is a friend of one of the hosts of the fundraiser, which will take place at a private residence on July 20.

“Congressman Barletta is fortunate to have supporters all over Pennsylvania who are willing to host events for his U.S. Senate campaign,” Jackson said. “Congressman Barletta has not met Mr. Farage, nor has Mr. Farage donated to the campaign because, as a British citizen, he cannot.”

But Casey’s spokesman Max Steele told the Citizens’ Voice that Barletta should cancel the fundraiser “to send a clear message that anti-Semitism has no place in our politics.”

Farage has come under criticism for saying last year that the “Jewish lobby” is much more of a threat than Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Last year, Farage made the in response to a phone call from a man named Ahmed on a radio show.

“Well the Israeli lobby, you know, that’s a reasonable point Ahmed, because there are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big,” he said at the time.

But Jewish people are not the only minority group whom Farage has been accused of disparaging.

During the “Brexit” campaign, Farage unveiled a poster with the words “Breaking Point” with a line of thousands of Muslim refugees.

Farage also accused Muslims in the United Kingdom of having “split loyalties” after the 2015 Paris terrorist attack.

Steele said it was “unsurprising” that Barletta “is raising money with an anti-Semitic white nationalist.”

But Jackson defended Barletta and criticized Casey’s campaign.

“The Casey campaign continues to lob outrageous accusations and mudslinging because their candidate has done nothing for the people of Pennsylvania. Name calling instead of leadership is a desperate and losing strategy,” Jackson said.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Likely Democratic.

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