The site has a particularly grisly history in Pennsylvania
. Shortly before suspected gunman Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in
2018, he posted on Gab
, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered
. Screw your optics
, I’m going in.
” The shooting left 11 죽은 사람들
, and while the site took down the suspect’s profile
, his digital footprint was littered with antisemitism
Following his campaign’s payment to Gab, 마스트리아노 — who rarely speaks with reporters from traditional media outlets — sat down for an interview with Torba and lauded the site founder, 그에게 말하다, “Thank God for what you’ve done.”
Torba also praised Mastriano
과, in an indication that he was aware that their relationship is controversial
, 말했다, “You may even get called a name for doing this interview with me
, so brace yourself with that.
Mastriano responded to the criticism on Thursday evening and distanced himself from Torba, saying the Gab founder “doesn’t speak for me or my campaign.”
“I reject anti-Semitism in any form,” Mastriano said, before going on to attack his opponent, 조쉬 샤피로, 및 민주당 원.
, according to Media Matters
, responded to the criticism in livestreamed comments this week in which he continued to push antisemitic tropes
“We’re not bending the knee to the 2% 더 이상,” Torba said, a reference to the general estimate of the Jewish population in the United States. “We’re not taking it anymore, bud. We are taking back our culture. We’re taking back our country. We’re taking back our government. 그래서, deal with it.”
Asked Thursday about the criticism over his relationship with Mastriano, Torba told CNN, “I only speak to Christian news outlets. Repent and call on the name of Jesus Christ.”
This is not a new position for Torba
. 에 따르면 The Jerusalem Post
, he said recently that his policy is
“not to conduct interviews with reporters who aren’t Christian or with outlets who aren’t Christian.
Torba followed up his Thursday statement to CNN with a link to a Gab post in which he wrote
, “I want to make very clear that I do not work for the Mastriano campaign
. I am not their consultant.
“The campaign paid Gab as a business for advertising during the primary. The campaign posts on Gab, as do 50+ other campaigns from around the country. That’s the extent of the relationship,” 그는 말했다. “My words are my own. My ideas are my own. They are not representative of Doug or Doug’s campaign.”
Representatives for Mastriano did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment. And the Republican Governors Association responded with a broad statement on the race that did not address Mastriano’s relationship with Gab.
At least one Republican member of the Pennsylvania statehouse has denounced Torba’s recent comments.
“I condemn Andrew Torba’s comments
, and call on my colleagues to reject Andrew Torba
, his comments
, and company
, especially Republican nominee for Pennsylvania Governor
, Senator Doug Mastriano
,” 주 대표. Todd Stephens
, who represents suburban Philadelphia
, 페이스 북에 썼다
. “We must all stand united against hate and this type of offensive and dangerous rhetoric
. Nothing short of a total rejection is warranted
, and I hope Senator Mastriano and my colleagues will join me.
Torba responded Thursday by calling Stephens a “RINO” — Republican in name only — and urging his supporters to deliver “harsh pushback” to the state legislator.
“We’re dragging the Republican party to the right and anyone who gets in our way is going to be left behind,” he wrote on Gab.
Democrats have also criticized Mastriano for his association with Torba.
Jill Zipin, co-founder of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania, said that while she has long worked to defeat Republicans, “this feels very different.”
“Josh is not running against your typical run of the mill Republican. He is running against someone who enables hatred,” Zipin said. “Speaking for myself and the members of my board, it’s frightening.”
And Shapiro said this week that the relationship between Gab and Mastriano was “not normal.”
“This is who Doug Mastriano is
,” 샤피로 said on MSNBC
. “He is so dangerous
. He is so extreme
. He is so beyond the pale.
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