Seeking to deflect criticism of Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar for her history of anti-Semitic remarks, Morning Joe swung into whataboutism mode today. Joe Scarborough flagrantly mischaracterized a tweet by GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy prior to the mid terms. Scarborough twice claimed that McCarthy had said "don't let Jews buy the election."
McCarthy had said no such thing. McCarthy had tweeted: "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election. Get out and vote Republican." He never identified the three as Jewish, and it is unlikely that more than a small fraction of Americans would know that they are. In contrast, Omar explicitly accused Israel of having "hypnotized" the world, and called on Allah to let people see the "evil doings" of Israel. More recently, Omar tweeted that congressional support of Israel is "all about the Benjamins, baby." When asked to clarify, she one-word tweeted: "AIPAC!"
Mika Brzezinski pitched in, saying "it's beyond hypocrisy on a whole new level, driven by hate." Hate? Is she accusing McCarthy of hating Jews? Could she be accusing Republicans of hating Muslims at large? Really: please let us know, Mika.
Here's the transcript.
6:18 am ET
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Back in October, just before the midterms, McCarthy tweeted "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election," the word "buy" in all caps. So here's what the congressman said about that yesterday.
FOX NEWS HOST: You put out a tweet about three billionaires trying to buy the midterms. What did mean by that?
KEVIN MCCARTHY: Well, that had nothing to do about faith. That was about Republicans versus Democrats. Michael Bloomberg put $54 million into the campaign just in the last couple weeks in 24 districts. All I was pointing out was, money that Republicans and Democrats were spending to defeat one another.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mika, the billionaires, he picked out three Jews.
SCARBOROUGH: He said -- let's put the tweet back up again. I mean, the tweet is saying, with a picture of George Soros, an ominous-looking picture of George Soros, Kevin McCarthy said don't let three Jews buy the election. Could we have a House resolution condemning that? Could we have a Senate resolution condemning that tweet? That now the person running the Republican party in the House of Representatives put out a tweet: don't let Jews buy the midterm election. Because that's what he said.
BRZEZINSKI: And it's beyond hypocrisy on a whole new level, driven by hate.