Schiff: Trump sets tone of 'division' and 'hatred'

In an interview with Jake Tapper, Congressman Adam Schiff discusses the Presidents tone after a week of violent hate

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 9:15 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 9:32 AM

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted and later deleted a tweet last week that suggested three Jewish, billionaire Democratic donors were attempting to "buy" the 2018 midterm elections.

"We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA," McCarthy wrote in the tweet posted Tuesday and deleted a day later, a reference to top donors to Democratic causes George Soros and Tom Steyer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Twitter users quickly condemned McCarthy's claim, saying it was insensitive given the fact that it came just one day after authorities intercepted what appeared to be a pipe bomb sent to Soros' New York home.

On Friday, a suspicious package addressed to Steyer, a hedge fund manager who is leading a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump, was discovered in Burlingame, California, making him one of more than a dozen prominent political figures and critics of the President who were the intended recipients of suspicious packages, some carrying pipe bombs, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

McCarthy's communications director, Matt Sparks, said in a statement to CNN that he also gave to The Washington Post last week that McCarthy "has and will always condemn in the strongest possible way violence or any acts of attempted violence."

"Understanding the particular sensitivity of the past 24 hours in the political climate today that has led to specific threats on both sides of the aisle, we will redouble our focus on our agenda of results," he said.

Authorities believe the packages were sent by Cesar Sayoc, a 56-year-old Florida man who was charged on Friday with five federal crimes, including illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and others, and assaulting current and former federal officers.

Soros, a billionaire investor and philanthropist, is a frequent target of right-wing criticism over his support for liberal causes, and both Steyer and Bloomberg have been politically active of late.

In response to the discovery of a suspicious package addressed to him, Steyer called for Trump's impeachment.

In a tweet, Steyer wrote: "We're thankful that everyone we work with is safe. We are seeing a systematic attack on our democracy that extends much further than just one isolated terrorist in Florida. That's why we are running an impeachment petition to end the culture of lawlessness in our country."

Steyer has financed a high-profile campaign for the President's impeachment, using a series of national ad campaigns and town halls through his "Need to Impeach" organization to push his message. He had also pledged to spend up to $120 million in the 2018 midterms.

Bloomberg, who has been flirting with a potential run for president in 2020, has been making sizable donations to Democrats in an effort to help candidates around the country.

In early October, he announced that he was donating $20 million to a PAC that aims to flip the Senate. And earlier this year, he pledged to spend $80 million on Democratic congressional candidates. Last week, he put up another $10 million for ads for Democratic candidates in a last-minute effort to support the party ahead of next week's midterm elections.

McCarthy's tweet came days before a man opened fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, killing 11 people and injuring six others, including four police officers.

The alleged shooter, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, of Baldwin, Pennsylvania, surrendered to authorities after the Saturday morning shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. He made anti-Semitic statements during and after the shooting, and targeted Jews on social media, according to a federal law enforcement official.

Responding to the shooting on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon, McCarthy called the attack "heinous" and said that it was "perpetrated by anti-Semitism and hate."

"May God's grace be with the victims and their families," he wrote.

Asked about McCarthy's tweet on Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg, California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is Jewish, said he wasn't sure what to make of it, but added that he thought the attacks on Soros in particular are driven by his Jewish faith.

"There are a lot of people (who) are generous to the Democratic Party," Schiff said. "The fact that he's become a symbol is not an accident. The fact that they're promulgating this falsehood that he's funding the caravan is an effort to give rebirth to this blood libel, that Jews are bringing impurity to the country, they're bringing other people to dilute the purity of the country.

"It's an ancient hatred," he continued. "And it's no accident that they have made George Soros the symbol of this. And you do see people, from the President on down, playing on this, candidates around the country playing on this."

Schiff added that anti-Semitic incidents rose sharply last year, citing figures from the Anti-Defamation League.

"(That) doesn't happen of its own. It happens because it's fed. And what will be necessary to overcome it is what the mayor was talking about," Schiff said, referring to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's plea for unity at a Sunday morning news conference on the mass shooting. "And that is, these are still a minority of repugnant voices, and they have to be drowned out by our common goodness."

Steyer said in an interview on the same program that he interpreted McCarthy's statement as "a straight-up anti-Semitic move. I think that that is a classic attempt to separate Americans. I think that absolutely falls into the category of what I'm describing as political violence. And I believe that what we are looking for in America is something completely different from that."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296154

Reported Deaths: 6764
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19700230
Hinds18851392
Harrison16736281
Rankin12757265
Jackson12623228
Lee9694161
Madison9480203
Jones7990147
Forrest7234138
Lauderdale6837226
Lowndes6032140
Lamar589680
Lafayette5740113
Washington5220130
Bolivar4616124
Oktibbeha441593
Panola431995
Pearl River4178131
Warren4134115
Pontotoc410571
Marshall403592
Monroe3990127
Union396174
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3552104
Hancock348975
Leflore3380118
Sunflower318986
Tate303174
Pike301296
Scott294570
Alcorn292263
Yazoo290565
Itawamba290175
Coahoma281169
Tippah279265
Copiah278758
Simpson276280
Prentiss270258
Wayne254341
Leake252871
Marion252778
Covington249580
Grenada247878
Adams234678
George232145
Newton230852
Winston221877
Jasper213645
Tishomingo212665
Attala206669
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie171239
Clarke169371
Calhoun158028
Smith153033
Yalobusha145036
Greene127833
Walthall124340
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry122135
Lawrence120321
Carroll118625
Amite111734
Webster110832
Jefferson Davis102231
Tunica99323
Claiborne98829
Benton93824
Humphreys92927
Kemper90323
Quitman77414
Franklin76119
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 497154

Reported Deaths: 10029
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson714001387
Mobile36252736
Madison32573462
Tuscaloosa24289414
Montgomery22708519
Shelby22112215
Baldwin19856285
Lee15021155
Calhoun13755288
Morgan13742252
Etowah13379320
Marshall11439210
Houston10110262
Elmore9451185
Limestone9413136
St. Clair9003225
Cullman8979182
Lauderdale8610212
DeKalb8486175
Talladega7582165
Walker6571259
Jackson6542103
Autauga631391
Blount6229127
Colbert5998120
Coffee5259103
Dale4657107
Russell406433
Franklin399778
Covington3989106
Chilton3891100
Escambia378772
Tallapoosa3613143
Clarke343953
Chambers3423111
Dallas3419142
Pike293372
Marion288895
Lawrence284683
Winston258668
Bibb245960
Geneva240270
Marengo238357
Pickens225055
Barbour212951
Hale211969
Fayette201357
Butler201166
Henry182941
Cherokee177739
Monroe166639
Randolph164640
Washington156635
Macon147243
Crenshaw146254
Clay145554
Cleburne139741
Lamar133733
Lowndes132551
Wilcox122525
Bullock117236
Conecuh107024
Perry105927
Sumter99432
Coosa89624
Greene88532
Choctaw55123
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