Kathy Barnette says tweets under scrutiny in Pa. Senate race were ‘not even full thoughts’
Barnette has previously denied that she authored at least one of the controversial posts. But on Sunday she said instead that the fact they were resurfacing shows the desperation of her opponents.
Republican Kathy Barnette appeared on Fox News Sunday to answer questions about her career and social media history that have arisen amid her late surge in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate primary.
Barnette largely deflected when asked probing questions about the length of her military service, where she was an adjunct college professor, and how long she has lived in Pennsylvania, saying that she’s only facing scrutiny about her biography now because the media failed to vet her earlier in the race.
“I have not embellished on my record,” Barnette said. “I have been running this race now for about 13 months, and if you listen to the mainstream media, you would think I crawled from under a rock yesterday.”
Barnette was also asked about past social media posts, including Islamophobic messages on Twitter. In 2014, for instance, she wrote, “If you love freedom, Islam must not be allowed to thrive under any condition,” according to Fox News.
Barnette previously denied authoring at least one of the controversial posts. But on Sunday, she said instead the fact they were resurfacing shows the desperation of her opponents, given “how far they have to go back to try to find anything on me.”
She also justified posting the anti-Muslim tweets by saying that she was concerned about refugees from the Syrian civil war entering the United States.
“When you look at the timeframe we were living in at that particular time, we had the Obama administration bringing in a lot of Syrian refugees,” she said. “I was watching the former FBI director, James Comey, testify, I believe in front of the Senate, saying we can vet until the cows come home, and we won’t know who these people are.”
Barnette added that the posts were intended to generate conversation and were not fully thought-out positions.
“At that time, I was hosting a show called Truth Exchange, and I would have all kinds of ideas. I was leaning into helping the public begin to have those conversations,” she said. “The overwhelming majority of those tweets that are being presented are not even full thoughts. They’re not even full sentences. And yet people take it and they begin to build their own narrative around it.”