Joaquin Castro Posts Names, Employers of Trump Supporters

Trump campaign blasts Castro's 'target list,' 'harassment of private citizens'

Rep. Joaquin Castro
Rep. Joaquin Castro / Getty Images
August 6, 2019

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has taken issue with a Facebook post from Texas congressman Joaquin Castro that lists the names and employers of Trump donors in San Antonio and accuses the private citizens of "contributing to harmful rhetoric that targets the Hispanic community and so many others."

Castro, twin brother of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, posted late Monday night on Facebook that he was "sad to see so many San Antonians on this list of maximum donors to Donald Trump." He specifically called out two companies, including a popular BBQ restaurant, and posted a list of 44 donors, with their full names and employers.

Trump campaign official Tim Murtaugh highlighted the post on Tuesday, calling it a "target list."

"This is Joaquin Castro, Congressman & chair of his brother's campaign," Murtaugh wrote. "Naming private citizens & their employers, targeting them for political views and exercising 1st Amendment rights."

"At the very least [Castro] is inviting harassment of these private citizens," he said. "At worst, he's encouraging violence."

"Should delete & apologize," Murtaugh added. "Castro campaign should disavow."

A request for comment to Julian Castro's presidential campaign was not immediately returned.

The decision by Joaquin Castro comes days after two deadly shootings in the United States, with information indicating that both murderers held radical political beliefs.

Just a few hours before his Facebook post, the congressman appeared on MSNBC to blame Trump for the actions of the man who killed more than 20 in El Paso.

"A lot of the language that the shooter used is eerily similar to language that the president has used to dehumanize and demonize Hispanic immigrants in this country." he said during an interview with Chris Matthews. "So the president has created this deadly climate where people are acting upon the kind of words and language that he has inspired in them."

His Facebook post quickly succeeded, if his goal was to create animosity within the San Antonio community. Many immediately pledged to no longer give business to companies owned by donors to Trump.

"Time to start buying bbq and gas somewhere else!!" wrote one Facebook user. "Boycott all their businesses, hit them where it hurts, their pockets," wrote another.

Campaigns are required to publicly disclose the names and employers of all their donors, which can be found in filings to the Federal Election Commission. It is highly unusual for politicians to use their public platforms, however, to highlight the names of political donors of their opponents.