Top leaders of the Illinois Republican Party sought to reverse damage on Sunday after posting a movie-style poster on Facebook that depicted four progressive congresswomen who have been repeatedly attacked by President Donald Trump in recent days as “The Jihad Squad.”
The poster, whose image was reportedly uploaded to the Facebook account of the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois on Friday night, displayed images of the four newly elected congresswomen of color — Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — who are often nicknamed “The Squad.” It showed the lawmakers in film-style action poses with a smiling Pressley aiming a gun and Ocasio-Cortez donning a red evening dress that was on fire. Omar is seen pursing her lips and Tlaib is screaming.
“Political Jihad is their game,” the poster read. “If you don’t agree with their socialist ideology, you’re racist.”
The post also displayed the logo of the Republican County Chairmen’s Association.
This is on the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association’s Facebook site: pic.twitter.com/0qzKsiRzzq
— Rick Pearson (@rap30) July 21, 2019
In a follow-up post shared to Facebook Sunday night, the organization’s president, Mark Shaw, chairman of the Lake County Republican Central Committee, said the image’s posting was “not authorized by me” and that he was “sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by its contents.” He did not apologize outright for the image.
Shaw then explained that the group has a “multi-stage, approval process for all social media posts on any of the RCCA’s social media properties.” That process, he said, is being “reevaluated.”
He said the post had been deleted and went on to lament that it was “unfortunate distraction from the serious debate surrounding the policies advocated by these four socialist members of the United States House of Representatives of which I strongly disagree.”
Shaw’s post came hours after a host of Illinois Republicans denounced the image.
“The recent social media post coming from the IRCCA does not reflect my values or the Illinois Republican Party’s values,” Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement. “Bigoted rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and further divides our nation.”
Cook County Republican Party Chairman Sean Morrison said in a statement that he was “appalled” by the association’s recent post and their “use of hateful rhetoric.”
“There are civil ways to express political differences that do not involve going to racist extremes,” he said. “The Illinois Republican County Chairman’s Association’s post only serves to further the hateful divide within our country, when we should instead strive for an intelligent, civil and thoughtful discussion of the philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats.”
The controversy comes as Trump has steadily escalated his incendiary criticism of the four high-profile lawmakers over the past week, since initially tweeting last week that the congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
Three of the four legislators — Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and Tlaib — were born in the U.S., while Omar, a refugee from Somalia, has been an American citizen since she was 17.
Trump initially defended his tweet, arguing it was not meant to be racist. He then continued his verbal volleys at a campaign rally on Wednesday in North Carolina, during which he criticized Omar as the crowd chanted, “send her back,” even after the House of Representatives voted Tuesday on a resolution condemning the president over his comments.
The president told reporters on Thursday that he disagreed with the chants, only to defend the rally-goers as “patriots” one day later.
Trump continued to take aim at the congresswomen on Sunday, writing on Twitter: “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”
I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2019
Ex-Bush official shreds Barr for serving Trump’s ‘authoritarian’ ambitions
MSNBC's Elise Jordan busted Attorney General William Barr's hypocrisy on surveillance.
The "Morning Joe" contributor and former White House official in the George W. Bush administration, where Barr also served -- and helped build the surveillance state before going on to work for telecommunications companies that turned over customer data to the government.
Blast damages hospital near biggest US base in Afghanistan
At least one person was killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded close to the largest US military base in Afghanistan Wednesday, damaging homes and a hospital under construction near Bagram Airfield, officials said.
The attack -- which has not yet been claimed -- comes as Washington resumed talks with the Taliban on Saturday, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America's longest war.
"The explosion happened in front of the gate of the Korean hospital which is almost adjacent to Bagram airfield," Parwan governor spokeswoman Wahida Shahkar said, referring to the US airbase located north of Kabul, in Parwan province.
The ‘War on Christmas’ was started more than 500 years ago — by Christians
If it feels like the “War on Christmas” is getting really old, it is. Almost 15 years have passed since Bill O’Reilly first opened December with a segment called, “Christmas Under Siege”—ten long years in which his cadences and refrains and echoing chorus have become as familiar to most Americans as Handel’s Messiah. More familiar, in fact.
Not that O’Reilly invented the idea. During the 1920’s, Henry Ford’s newspaper published a series of anti-Semitic articles titled, “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” Among the complaints: