Rep. Joaquin Castro Refuses to Delete ‘Target List’ of Trump Donors Amid Heavy Criticism, Calls to Step Down

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
August 7, 2019 Updated: August 7, 2019

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) refused to delete a list of donors to President Donald Trump he shared online or apologize for publicizing the donors’ information.

Castro, the chair of his brother Julian Castro’s presidential campaign, published a list of 44 donors who live in San Antonio and gave the maximum possible amount to the Trump campaign. The list included names and workplaces.

Castro claimed that the donors’ “contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders,’” referring to a manifesto attributed to the alleged El Paso mass shooter.

In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote: “Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to ‘when they go low, we go high?’ Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1 percent? Americans deserve better.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also hit out at Castro, writing: “EVERYONE needs to tone the hateful partisan rhetoric way down. This is WRONG & Castro should retract it. In our constitutional Republic, the People rightly hold their representatives accountable; elected representatives should not be vilifying & doxxing their own constituents.”

And Tim Murtaugh, a campaign official for Trump’s reelection effort, said that Castro “should delete and apologize” and urged the Castro campaign to disavow.

In another missive, he added: “At the very least @Castro4Congress is inviting harassment of these private citizens. At worst, he’s encouraging violence.”

“Will media concerned about ‘rhetoric’ care about this? He’s listing people and their employers. This is a target list,” he wrote.

Castro declined to apologize or take down the post, trying to portray himself as a victim.

“No one was targeted or harassed in my post. You know that. All that info is routinely published. You’re trying to distract from the racism that has overtaken the GOP and the fact that President Trump spends donor money on thousands of ads about Hispanics ‘invading’ America,” he told McCarthy.

“Donald Trump has put a target on the back of millions. And you’re too cowardly or agreeable to say anything about it. How about I stop mentioning Trump’s public campaign donors and he stops using their money for ads that fuel hate?”

Julian Castro, a former cabinet secretary under President Barack Obama, has not commented on his brother’s actions. He appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday night but was not asked about the situation.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.