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GOP senator suddenly against 'divisive' tweets after 4 years of Trump

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) looked the other way when Donald Trump tweeted nasty insults and baseless conspiracy theories.

By Emily Singer - February 24, 2021
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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) formally announced he’s opposing President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, saying he opposes the tweets she’s sent over the years.

Cornyn said he will oppose Neera Tanden because she “has repeatedly made combative, insulting, and flat-out false statements against both Democrats and Republicans.”

“She’s referred to Republicans as evil and monsters. She’s villainized Leader McConnell and called Sen. Cotton a fraud and Sen. Collins the worst,” Cornyn said, paraphrasing some of Tanden’s tweets over the years. 

“Based on her well-documented history of divisive and misleading comments, I think this nominee faces long odds, to say the least,” Cornyn went on. “My friendly advice to President Biden is to withdraw Neera Tanden’s nomination and select someone who at the very least has not promoted wild conspiracy theories and openly bashed people on both sides of the aisle.”

Cornyn’s comments led to eye-rolling and accusations of hypocrisy, given Cornyn supported Donald Trump despite Trump’s long and public history of hurling insults on Twitter and promoting baseless conspiracy theories.

“The utter shamelessness and hypocrisy of this,” Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas tweeted, referring to Cornyn’s comments about Tanden’s tweets. “Cornyn has pored over every last tweet from Tanden, but when asked about Trump’s tweets threatening nuclear war, relentlessly spouting insane conspiracy theories, or being openly racist, he pretended not to have seen them.”

For example, Cornyn didn’t speak out in 2020, after Trump baselessly accused an elderly man — who was critically injured when a police officer pushed him to the ground — of being an “ANTIFA provocateur.”

The claim was false and offensive, made as the man was still in the hospital from head injuries he suffered from the police attack.

Yet Cornyn didn’t condemn it, saying merely, “You know a lot of this stuff just goes over my head,” according to a report from Axios at the time.

Trump’s tweet about the inured protester was one of hundreds of insults and conspiracy theories Trump pushed over the years — including the big lie about the 2020 election being stolen that culminated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

It’s unclear whether Tanden has the votes for confirmation.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced he is not going to vote for Tanden over her tweets — a move that has also led to accusations of hypocrisy and double standards.

Because the Senate has a 50-50 partisan split, that means one Republican would need to vote for Tanden for her nomination to have a chance. And other Republicans — more who didn’t withdraw their support for Trump over his tweets — have raised the same concerns over Tanden’s social media comments.

After seeing Cornyn’s comments slamming Tanden for her tweets, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) tweeted, “Shamelessness is republicans’ super power.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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