Julian Castro

Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Secretary of HUD Julian Castro speaks during a campaign event at the Unity Freedom Presidential Forum Friday, May 31, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro was finally asked late last week about his brother Rep. Joaquin Castro’s name-and-shame doxxing campaign to “out” people in his TX-20 Congressional district who donated the maximum amount to President Trump’s reelection campaign.

The questions came during a campaign stop in Iowa, and the exchange between Castro and the journalists asking them was testy at times. Hank Berrien at The Daily Wire sets the scene:

A reporter asked Julian Castro, “Some of these Trump donors are being targeted and harassed. Republican or Democrat, why is that okay?”

Castro replied, “It is not okay for anybody to harass anybody else. It doesn’t matter where somebody’s coming from, from the Right or from the Left. It’s not okay for people to harass other people and nobody ever said that it was.”

The reporter persisted, “So then why post the list online?” Another reporter echoed, “Is it an act of intimidation?”

Castro answered, “My brother put out a list of names of people who had maxed out to the Trump campaign. That is public information. That [kind of] information is put out all the time, and for anybody to pretend or suggest that it’s not, that’s just untrue.”

The first reporter queried, “Didn’t he single them out?”

The back and forth didn’t get any better from there as Julián Castro continued to dodge the bigger issue about whether or not what his brother did should be considered deliberate political intimidation of private donors.

“He did not put down anybody’s private information, he did not put out their addresses, he did not put down their phone numbers,” Castro said in trying to justify his brother’s actions.

A reporter interjected and noted “But he singled them out, secretary,” in the middle of Castro’s answer. He continued on by asserting “What he did is not doxxing. Anybody who understands what doxxing is knows that he did not do that.”

Castro then went on to state that “The right wing wants to make this a story because they want to pretend, like in some way that’s equivalent to the hate or the division that Donald Trump is fostering in this country. It is not. I guess what Donald Trump wants is he wants these donors to be secret. He doesn’t want you to know who’s donating to him.”

“Maybe he believes these people are embarrassed” to be caught donating to Trump, Castro went on, ignoring a journalist who asked him twice if he knew that some of the donors his brother doxxed had also donated to both Castro brothers in past political campaigns.

Castro didn’t answer that question, and instead walked off.

Watch the contentious back and forth below:

Before he was asked about his brother’s tweet from last Monday, Julián Castro posted this photo on Thursday of the two of them, which was the first official indication from his camp that he stood by Joaquin’s tactics:

Julián’s answers, much like his brother’s, are disingenuous and do not pass the smell test. They are, however, more concerning considering he wants to be elected president.

As I wrote Friday in a piece noting the harassment and threats towards people on the list had already started, even a 5-year-old could have predicted that harassing phone calls and threats would come as a result of Joaquin Castro’s actions. For either Castro brother to act like that wasn’t the intent would be laughable if the issue wasn’t so serious.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA-1) and many other Congressional Republicans have strongly condemned Castro for publishing the list. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2) has said a Congressional censure should be on the table for consideration.

Several House Republicans have called for an ethics investigation into Joaquin Castro’s Trump donors tweet.

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— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –