After Four Years of Pretending Not to See Trump’s Tweets, GOP Senators Are Suddenly Concerned About Partisanship on Twitter
Ahead of a hearing for Neera Tanden, Senate Republicans are suddenly concerned about comments made on Twitter after four years of turning a blind eye to Trump’s vile remarks
Many of the same Senate Republicans repeatedly voted in favor of nominees with a track record for making controversial and often inappropriate comments online, including Trump’s OMB pick Russ Voght and Labor secretary pick Eugene Scalia
Accountable Senate War Room: “The American people do not believe Republicans when they say they suddenly care about a person’s tweets after spending four years under Trump rejecting that very premise”
Accountable Senate War Room: “As Republican senators continue their pearl-clutching, we know the real reason for delay: Neera Tanden will oversee a budget that finally works for the American people, not special interests, and will undo the four years of damage caused by the Trump administration”
Washington, D.C. – Accountable Senate War Room is calling out the hypocrisy of Senate Republicans’ long history of turning a blind eye to Trump’s and members of his administration’s racist, sexist, and inflammatory tweets and public statements over the years. Many of the same Republicans who will oppose Tanden today happily supported many of Trump’s nominees despite their offensive tweets and extreme stances just four years ago. Now, after years of looking the other way, Senate Republicans are objecting to President Biden’s nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Neera Tanden, feigning outrage to distract from Tanden’s record of fighting for American families.
Even before a hearing was scheduled, Senate Republicans planned to reject the confirmation of Neera Tanden, claiming she was too controversial on Twitter. This comes after four years of Republican senators claiming to not keep track of such things when asked about the latest incendiary tweet from President Trump or one of his allies. In fact, Senate Republicans repeatedly voted in favor of Cabinet nominees with extremely controversial and problematic statements, including Russ Vought, Trump’s pick to lead OMB, and Eugene Scalia as Labor secretary.
In a 2016 blog post, Vought claimed that Islam is a “deficient theology” and that “[Muslims] do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.” Vought was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate even after these comments were brought to light. Just as shocking, Eugene Scalia, who has a long history of outlandish comments regarding women and sexual harassment in the workplace, including arguing that calling an employee an “incompetent stupid female bitch” is not enough to be considered “actionable environmental harassment,” was confirmed by the Senate with the support of every single Republican.
“The American people do not believe Republicans when they say they suddenly care about a person’s tweets after spending four years under Trump rejecting that very premise,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for the Accountable Senate War Room. “As Republican senators continue their pearl-clutching, we know the real reason for delay: Neera Tanden will oversee a budget that finally works for the American people, not special interests, and will undo the four years of damage caused by the Trump administration. As our country is facing dual public health and economic crises, the American people don’t have time for Republicans to play petty political games as President Biden’s Cabinet nominees remain unconfirmed.”
It’s clear that the decision for some Senate Republicans to hold up Tanden’s nomination was the plan from the very beginning. Months ago, Cornyn promised to reject Tanden’s nomination after she had previously tweeted about him, referring to her as Biden’s “worst nominee so far,” and that she “stands zero chance of being confirmed.” In the past, when Cornyn had been confronted about Trump’s problematic tweets, he would downplay the remarks as jokes or simply walk away. Once, Cornyn commented that “…a lot of this stuff goes over my head,” yet is ready to dismiss Neera Tanden’s confirmation entirely for past remarks much less harmful than Trump’s. His sudden interest in her tweets are just a cover for his desire to reject Tanden out of fear that she will prioritize the needs of the American people over special interests and big corporations.
Here’s are some of the most incendiary comments made by nominees who were eventually confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate:
- Russ Vought, OMB director:
- January 2016: Russ Vought Wrote “Wheaton College And The Preservation Of Theological Clarity” For Conservative Blog The Resurgent. “At least, that’s what Vought wrote in a January 2016 post on the conservative blog, The Resurgent. In his piece, titled ‘Wheaton College and the Preservation of Theological Clarity,’ Vought makes the case that someone can’t really ‘know God’ without a focus on Jesus.” [HuffPost, 6/5/17]
- Vought: “This Is The Fundamental Problem. Muslims Do Not Simply Have A Deficient Theology, They Do Not Know God Because They Have Rejected Jesus Christ His Son, And They Stand Condemned.” [The Resurgent via Wayback Machine, 1/17/16]
- Vought Said He Was “Proud” Of His Alma Mater For Firing Professor “Seeking Solidarity With Muslims.” “Wheaton College, my alma mater, is in the midst of a firestorm over its response to Dr. Larycia Hawkins’ controversial comments seeking solidarity with Muslims and her argument that Christians ‘worship the same God.’ Wheaton recently commenced termination proceedings with Dr. Hawkins, finding her reaffirmations of the Statement of Faith unsatisfactory. While many faculty, alumni, and outside observers are typically outraged and embarrassed by this ‘assault on academic freedom,’ I am proud of the school and hope they stand their ground.” [The Resurgent via Wayback Machine, 1/17/16]
- Vought Criticized Republicans For Being “Fundamentally In Their DNA Unwilling To Fight” And Implored Them To Have A “Willingness” To Shut Down Government And “Embrace The Sort Of Brinkmanship That Shows They Are Playing To Win.” “During that time, Vought wrote a series of rambling posts for RedState.com arguing that ‘incrementalism doesn’t work for the right,’ that Republicans ‘are fundamentally in their DNA unwilling to fight’ and that Republicans needed to have ‘a willingness’ to shut the government down. He exhorted Republicans to ‘embrace the sort of brinkmanship that shows they are playing to win.’ He railed against a 2012 infrastructure bill as ‘communism.’” [Washington Post, Opinion, 12/31/20]
- Mike Pompeo, CIA director:
- Mike Pompeo Once Sent A Tweet That Cited DNC Emails Released By Wikileaks As ‘Proof’ That Hillary Clinton’s Nomination Was ‘Fixed.’ [Quartz, 1/12/2017]
- While Mike Pompeo Was A Member Of Congress, “He Falsely Asserted That The Obama Administration Intentionally Covered Up The Truth About The Benghazi Investigation.” “During his six years in Congress, Pompeo made a number of controversial and in some cases offensive statements. He falsely asserted that the Obama administration intentionally covered up the truth about the Benghazi investigation.” [Vox, 04/12/18]
- While Mike Pompeo Was A Member Of Congress, “He Seemingly Endorsed The Notion That Homosexuality Is A ‘Perversion.’” “He seemingly endorsed the notion that homosexuality is a ‘perversion.’” [ Vox, 04/12/18]
- While Mike Pompeo Was A Member Of Congress, He Falsely “Accused The American Muslim Community Of Being ‘Silent’ About The Boston Marathon Bombing.” “In a 2013 floor speech, he accused the American Muslim community of being ‘silent’ about the Boston Marathon bombing (they weren’t) and then claimed that their so-called silence ‘casts doubt upon the commitment to peace among adherents of the Muslim faith.’” [Vox, 04/12/18]
- Ric Grenell, ambassador to Germany:
- During His Ambassadorship Hearing, Grenell Faced Criticism For Sexist Comments About The Appearance Of High-Profile Women, Including Michelle Obama, Madeleine Albright, And Callista Gingrich. “The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Richard Grenell — a Republican commentator, operative and former aide to new national security adviser John Bolton — as the next ambassador to Germany, despite objections from Democrats that his past epithets about prominent female politicians made him unfit for the job. […] Grenell’s policy views, however, are not at the heart of the objections against him. Instead, Democrats have focused on the undiplomatic tone Grenell has struck in several comments on his Twitter profile and as a frequent commentator on Fox News, where he has jeered about the appearance of several high-profile political women, including Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Callista Gingrich, Trump’s ambassador to the Vatican.” [Washington Post, 4/26/18]
- 2016: Grenell Implied The Journalist Katy Tur Only Had Her Position Because She Dated Keith Olbermann. “In a tweetstorm Friday, Fox News contributor Richard Grenell went after MSNBC’s Katy Tur over what he felt was her biased reporting on the recent WikiLeaks email dumps. He also suggested that Tur only got her position due to her relationship with former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann.” [Mediaite, 10/14/16]
- 2016: Grenell Tweeted That Khizr Khan, Father Of A Fallen Soldier, Had Only Criticized Donald Trump Was “All About His Business” Which Involves Visas. “Fox News contributor and Republican consultant Richard Grenell suggested Monday that the reason father of a fallen soldier Khizr Khan criticized Donald Trump and sparked an ongoing feud was to enrich his business. ‘Mr. Khan entered the political debate,’ Grenell argued. ‘His ongoing media campaign on immigration is all about his business.’ He linked to a Washington Examiner article detailing Khan’s day job as a lawyer and how he specializes in immigration law and obtaining a controversial form of visa.” [Mediaite, 8/1/16]
- Patrick Murray, alternative representative for special political affairs to the United Nations:
- Murray Praised Controversial Conservative Commentator Milo Yiannopoulos And Shared “Videos Of Yiannopoulos Denouncing Campus Safe Spaces, Arguing That Britain Should Leave The European Union To Stop Muslim Immigration And Talking About The 2016 Presidential Election.” “On Facebook, Murray praised Yiannopoulos multiple times in 2016, writing comments of approval like ‘Milo rocks,’ ‘preach, Milo!,’ and ‘clone this guy’ while sharing videos of Yiannopoulos denouncing campus safe spaces, arguing that Britain should leave the European Union to stop Muslim immigration and talking about the 2016 presidential election.” [CNN, 12/04/17]
- He Also “Shared An Image That Suggested Being A Democrat Was A ‘Mental Illness’” And “In Another Post He Called Former President Bill Clinton The ‘The Renowned Cigar Inserter.’ In another post, Murray shared an image that suggested being a Democrat was a ‘mental illness.’ In another post he called former President Bill Clinton the ‘the renowned cigar inserter,’ shared a macro-image of Bill looking at Hillary Clinton with the text overlay, ‘when you’re in prison I’m free to date,’ and picture of Bill Clinton smiling with the text, ‘is Bruce Jenner a woman yet.’” [ CNN, 12/04/17]
- Eugene Scalia, Labor secretary:
- Eugene Scalia Argued That The Concept Of Quid Pro Quo “Should Be Abandoned” Because It Is “Redundant And Ambiguous In Theory, And Cumbersome And Confusing In Practice.” In a 1998 article in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Eugene Scalia argued, “quid pro quo is redundant and ambiguous in theory, and cumbersome and confusing in practice. It should be abandoned.” [Eugene Scalia, “Article: The Strange Career of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 307, Spring 1998]
- Eugene Scalia Argued That An Employer Should Not Be Liable If Its Supervisors Ordered Employees On Business Trips, Groped Them, And Then Fired Them If They Didn’t Submit. “One supervisor orders his assistant to accompany him on a business trip and gropes her on the plane, at dinner, and in the hotel. A second supervisor does the same and tells her that’s what he did with her predecessors. A third supervisor adds that if she doesn’t submit she’s fired. The first scenario is environmental harassment only, not quid pro quo. The third is both. The second is ambiguous. I believe the employer should not be liable in any of these scenarios unless it endorsed the conduct.” [Eugene Scalia, “Article: The Strange Career of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 307, Spring 1998]
- Eugene Scalia Argued That If An Employer Called An Employee “‘An Incompetent Stupid Female Bitch’ A Single Time It Would Not Be Actionable Environmental Harassment.” “Saying ‘You’re an incompetent stupid female bitch’ a single time is not actionable environmental harassment.” [Eugene Scalia, “Article: The Strange Career of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 307, Spring 1998]