SAN ANTONIO - In the face of criticism from conservatives, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, is doubling down on a tweet he posted Monday that includes public information identifying San Antonians who have given the maximum amount to President Donald Trump's campaign this year.
"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?" Castro said Wednesday in a tweet.
Castro's comments come less than 48 hours after he was the target of widespread online backlash for sharing 44 names and employers who contributed the maximum amount allowed by federal law to the president's campaign.
"Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump — the owner of @BillMillerBarBQ, owner of the Historic Pearl, realtor Phyllis Browning, etc.," Castro tweeted from his campaign account Monday night. "Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as 'invaders.'"
Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump — the owner of @BillMillerBarBQ, owner of the @HistoricPearl, realtor Phyllis Browning, etc.
Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’ pic.twitter.com/YT85IBF19u — Joaquin Castro (@Castro4Congress) August 6, 2019
Federal law allows individuals to donate up to $2,800 per election to a candidate, but some people on the list also donated to Trump's political action committee or PAC.
While the list of individual contributors is public record and easily accessible online, many people, including Donald Trump Jr., are calling Castro's move an attack on Americans' political beliefs.
Donald Trump Jr. says Joaquin Castro's tweet about Trump donors "screams like the Dayton, OH shooter's list" of people he wanted to murder: "That was the same thing that the Dayton, OH shooter did." pic.twitter.com/miLu0mfOMg — Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) August 7, 2019
"That list sort of screams like the Dayton, Ohio, shooter's list," Trump Jr. said Wednesday morning during an appearance on "Fox & Friends."
"Now you're going after ordinary citizens, people who are just taking part in a political process," Trump Jr. said. "They're trying to punish these individuals."
Gov. Greg Abbott threw shade at Castro on Twitter Tuesday night with a post that included images of a Bill Miller BBQ restaurant and food, adding: "Perfect night for @BillMillerBBQ."
The hashtag #ImpeachJoaquinCastro trended on Twitter Wednesday as social media users debated whether Castro's post was fair game.
Castro's tweet and the subsequent backlash came as the nation is reeling from a mass shooting in which 22 people were killed and dozens more were injured at a Walmart in El Paso. The gunman, a 21-year-old white man from a Dallas suburb who investigators say posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online moments before the shooting, targeted Hispanics.
In the manifesto that authorities believe was written by the gunman, the massacre was a "response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas." Latinos around the country — and in Mexico, home to seven people killed in the shooting — have described living in terror since the incident.
I truly think the scale of how horrified the Latino community is right now is not being understood, which is why the reporting about this moment is so important. So a quick story. I was chatting w/ a friend I met through the course of my work and she told me she had been crying. — Adrian Carrasquillo (@Carrasquillo) August 6, 2019
The gunman has been charged with capital murder and federal authorities are investigating the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism.
Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.