The day after posting the names and employers of private citizen Trump 2020 donors on Twitter, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) tried to defend his actions during an appearance on MSNBC Wednesday.
Here’s how the exchange between Castro and MSNBC’s Willie Geist went down:
Geist: “Congressman, as you look at this list, I know you say you didn’t put their addresses out there. It’s easy to find them. These people undoubtedly are already being harassed online or perhaps face-to-face, in some cases, they could be. What do you say to those people this morning who say, ‘I made a campaign donation, and now I’m going to be harassed. I’m going to have people protesting outside my business or perhaps even my home’? What do you say to them? Do you want them to repent for their support for Donald Trump, or what do you want from them?”
Castro: “Well, the first thing is that I don’t want anybody harassed or targeted …”
Geist: “But they will be, because you put their names in public.”
Castro: “Look, that was not my intention.”
Geist: “But that’s what will happen.”
Castro: “These things are public. No, what I would like for them to do is think twice about supporting a guy who is fueling hate in this country.”
Geist later asked Castro, “If you agree that rhetoric can lead to incitement, even if it just triggers one person to do something terrible, does it give you any pause about putting these peoples’ names out in public?”
Castro answered that the names were “already out there” and that he didn’t create the graphic.
Here’s video of the exchange:
On Tuesday evening, Castro shared a graphic with the names and employers of dozens of Trump donors from his own congressional district. After facing backlash for “inviting harassment of these private citizens,” he doubled down on the decision to share the graphic, saying that his tweet didn’t contain “private or personal info” like addresses or phone numbers.
Castro’s identical brother, Julian Castro, is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.