Bryan Cranston Joins Holocaust Denier With Donation to Plame Campaign

Plame, running for Congress in New Mexico, blamed America’s Jews for America’s wars

Valerie Plame / Getty Images
August 5, 2019

Former CIA employee Valerie Plame, who became mired in controversy after tweeting out an anti-Semitic article, has received campaign donations from notable Hollywood figures and a prominent Holocaust denier.

Plame's Hollywood supporters include actors Bryan Cranston, Naomi Watts, and Michael Douglas, producers Doug Liman and Jonathan Nolan, and billionaire Lynda Resnick. Watts played Plame in the 2010 film Fair Game based on Plame's career at the CIA. Liman directed the film, which struggled at the box office

The donations came despite Plame's attacks on American Jews. She resigned from the Ploughshares Fund board in 2017 after tweeting an article titled "America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars," in which author Philip Giraldi suggested certain American Jews should be given a label when appearing on television "kind-of-like a warning label on a bottle of rat poison."

Plame initially defended the article, saying, "Many neocon hawks ARE Jewish" and asking people to "read the entire article." When that defense failed to silence her critics, Plame deleted the post and apologized. Plame has since blamed the tweet on multitasking during a move and claimed that she had not read the entire article. "Social media very unforgiving," she said.

It is unclear if Plame was also moving when she shared at least eight other articles from the same outlet, including one piece that accused Israelis of celebrating in the wake of 9/11. The publisher, a self-described "alternative media selection" known as the Unz Review, routinely features Holocaust denial arguments and rampant anti-Semitism. The Unz Review has donated tens of thousands of dollars to the website VDARE.

In addition to the celebrity supporters, Plame received three separate donations from former congressman Pete McCloskey, who once made reference to the "so-called Holocaust" during a 2000 address to the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), an organization known for publishing Holocaust denial books and articles. McCloskey, who served as a Republican before changing his affiliation to the Democratic Party, added, "I don't know whether you are right or wrong about the Holocaust." He began the speech by noting he came to the conference due to his "respect" for "the thesis of this organization." McCloskey later disputed the accuracy of IHR's transcript of his speech. 

McCloskey is also the founder of the Council for the National Interest (CNI), an advocacy group that has been described as anti-Israel. A former member of the CNI board of directors, Abdurahman Alamoudi, stated his support for Hamas and Hezbollah at an anti-Israel rally outside of the White House in 2000. Alamoudi was later sentenced to 23 years in prison "on charges related to his activities in the United States and abroad with nations and organizations that have ties to terrorism."

Plame has won positive press for her congressional bid from the national media. Articles in the New York Times and HuffPost failed to mention her history of publicizing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Plame and McCloskey are both contributors to HuffPost, including a 2016 article in which McCloskey defended a blog written by Plame.

New Mexico's Third Congressional District has remained blue since 1998, but Plame faces a crowded primary field. Eight other Democrats are in the running, including New Mexico district attorney Marco Serna and Santa Fe lawyer Teresa Leger. Plame narrowly leads the field in fundraising, with $239,173.44 raised compared with Serna's $232,940.50.

A representative for Resnick declined to comment. None of the other above mentioned donors to Plame responded to requests for comment. McCloskey could not be reached.

Plame’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.