WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic donor Tom Steyer on Sunday denounced as anti-Semitic a now-deleted tweet from Kevin McCarthy, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, that said Steyer and two other wealthy donors were trying to buy the November congressional elections.
McCarthy’s tweet, posted on Tuesday and deleted the next day, was captured in images on media sites. It referred to financier George Soros, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Steyer, all billionaires who donate heavily to liberal causes. All three have Jewish family backgrounds.
“We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA,” he wrote.
McCarthy’s office did not address Steyer’s charge but said the congressman strongly condemns violence and “simply points out the enormous financial contributions a select few have made in this year’s midterm campaigns.”
Soros and Steyer were among the prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump who received parcel bombs last week.
In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Steyer said he took McCarthy’s tweet, which accompanied a video of him making the same remarks, at face value.
“In terms of interpreting what he said, that seems, to me, like a straight-up anti-Semitic move,” Steyer said. “I think that there - that is a classic attempt to separate Americans. I think that absolutely falls into the category of what I’m describing as political violence.”
Steyer spoke a day after a gunman killed 11 Jewish worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest attack ever on the Jewish community in the United States.
Steyer, who is well known for his ads calling for Trump’s impeachment, said he did not blame the Republican president for Saturday’s deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, “but I’m absolutely associating and blaming him for creating the atmosphere that exists.”
He said the Republican Party has created a politically violent atmosphere and accused Trump himself of lawlessness.
Trump responded on Twitter that he watched “Wacky Tom Steyer” who “comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon.”
Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Cynthia Osterman