'She’s not racist': Republicans stand by Elise Stefanik following Buffalo massacre
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) with GOP colleagues (Photo via AFP)

Republicans are standing by Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York who has received harsh criticism over the racist conspiracy theory that was allegedly cited by the gunman as motivation.

Eight months before the shooting, the Times Union newspaper warned about Stefanik pushing the "great replacement" conspiracy theory.

"That rhetoric has been resonating ever since in the right wing, repackaged lately in what’s known as 'replacement theory,' espoused by conservative media figures like Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. And it has seeped into the mainstream political discourse in the Capital Region, where Rep. Elise Stefanik has adapted this despicable tactic for campaign ads," the editorial board wrote.

"Ms. Stefanik isn’t so brazen as to use the slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump. And she doesn’t quite attack immigrants directly; instead, she alleges that Democrats are looking to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants in order to gain a permanent liberal majority, or, as she calls it, a 'permanent election insurrection.' Quite a choice of words, of course, considering that the country is still suffering the aftershocks of the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington by supporters of Mr. Trump who tried to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election," the newspaper explained.

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On Monday, Stefanik complained about media coverage of the scandal.

Republicans are "largely defending" Stefanik, Politico reported Tuesday.

“She’s not racist, but you’ve got to be careful about your statements,” said Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE).

Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) attacked those criticizing his Republican colleague.

“Nobody in their right mind believes Elise Stefanik is a racist. That’s insulting to everybody’s intelligence,” he wrote.

“Elise has an extensive record,” said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL). “When things like that are said about Elise, it just falls flat on its face. It really does.”

Read the full report.