President Donald Trump’s campaign aides on Tuesday sharply criticized Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro for posting to social media the names and employers of some of the President’s largest donors in San Antonio.
Castro, who represents the city in the House and serves as chairman of the 2020 presidential campaign of his brother Julián Castro, tweeted that it was “sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump.”
“These contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders,’ ” Castro wrote, posting a graphic that included the names and employers of 44 Trump donors, including several retirees. The graphic did not include any additional information of the donors.
Officials with Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee denounced Joaquin Castro’s actions Tuesday.
“At the very least @Castro4Congress is inviting harassment of these private citizens,” Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh tweeted. “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.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot during practice for a congressional baseball game in 2017, also condemned the tweet. “People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period,” he wrote on Twitter. “This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand.”
Joaquin Castro confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that the tweet came from his House campaign account and on Tuesday evening, the congressman stood by his tweet.
“Your campaign has stoked fear of brown-skinned immigrants,” he tweeted in response to Murtaugh. “Those contributions (have) been used to pay for over 2K @Facebook ads declaring an invasion by Hispanics. That is truly dangerous for millions.”
“Will you commit not to run another ad like that?”
Julian Castro’s presidential campaign aides did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment, but campaign spokeswoman Sawyer Hackett tweeted to reporters that the post relied on “public information published by the FEC—information you and your colleagues have used for countless stories over the years.”
Castro’s social media post came days after a 22 people were killed in a shooting rampage at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Police say they found a document, which they believe was written by the suspect, espousing anti-immigrant and white nationalist views.
By law, candidates must publicly disclose to the Federal Election Commission the names, addresses and occupations of donors who contribute more than $200 to their campaign. Federal rules bar the use of individual donor information for commercial purposes or to solicit contributions, but the details about donors to federal candidates are publicly available through the commission’s website.
CNN’s Sara Mucha and Eric Bradner