Democratic congressional candidate Valerie Plame (N.M.) blamed social media, specifically Twitter, on Monday night for why she interacted with an anti-Semitic website in 2017.
Plame appeared on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time to discuss her official campaign launch as she runs for New Mexico's open Third Congressional District seat. After talking about her new campaign ad, host Chris Cuomo pressed Plame in a series of questions about sharing articles from the fringe site UNZ Review in September 2017, including one accusing "American Jews" of "driving America's wars."
"You have retweeted or shown interest in articles that are put out by a website that is basically a platform for extremist thought and anti-Semitism. What are you doing having anything to do with a site like that if you want to represent New Mexico as a Democrat?" Cuomo asked.
Plame said she apologized profusely multiple times after she retweeted the article. Plame shifted the topic to her kids and how she told them about the importance of expressing sincerity when apologizing.
"Why did you do it?" Cuomo asked.
"Because I didn't read the article all the way through and I was simply focused on getting out of … the mistake I thought of getting out [of] the Iran nuclear deal, which I thought was a really bad idea, and that's proven to be true," Plame said.
Cuomo wasn't done pressing Plame on her excuses for sharing the anti-Semitic articles on her Twitter page, saying, "You've shown other interests in that website before. Why would you have anything do with a website that is operated or at least provided by a guy that's a Holocaust denier?"
"Because social media and Twitter can be a pretty hateful environment, and it doesn't exactly lend itself to thoughtful discussion or reading all the way through," Plame said. "I made a terrible mistake, and I hurt people whose beliefs I respect and I apologized for it."
Cuomo asked Plame whether there was something particular about that website she likes, noting she previously shared nine articles from the site. One was titled "Why I Still Dislike Israel" and another was about "Dancing Israelis" on 9/11.
"Sometimes all sorts of things come across, as you know, in social media that you don't read all the way through," Plame said. "That's why I'm not on Twitter anymore."
When pressed by MSNBC's Kasie Hunt in May about sharing the posts, she claimed, "It's not who I am and it's not what I believe. It was extremely painful. I had not read the whole article all the way through and when I realized what it was, it was embarrassing and hurtful, so I apologize deeply and sincerely, and I've done it multiple times both privately and publicly."
She went on to say "we all make mistakes" and that sharing the article was a "doozy."