Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) got into hot water earlier this week when he tried to defend President Donald Trump by posting a meme swiped from a white supremacist website.
Cincinnati.com reports that Chabot posted a meme on his own homepage this week that featured a quote from top Trump strategist Steve Bannon's earlier tirade against the news media in which he told the press corps to "keep its mouth shut."
While there was nothing inherently anti-Semitic in Bannon's original quote, the meme itself deployed the anti-Semitic "echo" symbol to attack the media as part of a broader Jewish conspiracy.
"The (((media))) here is the opposition party," the meme read in part. "They still don't understand why Donald Trump is president of the United States. The (((elite media))) got it dead wrong."
Chabot spokesman Brian Griffith tells Cincinnati.com that Chabot had originally found the image through a Google search, and he didn't know it came from a white supremacist website. He also said that Chabot's staff removed the meme as soon as they learned about its offensive nature.
"Rep. Chabot doesn’t have an anti-Semitic bone in his body, and anybody that has followed his record over the years knows that," Griffith explained. "He’s been one of the staunchest defenders of Israel in Congress. This unfortunate error shouldn’t be detracting from that."