Politics has always been a dirty business. While the “exhausted majority” is crying out for civility on both sides, it appears that the politicians and talking heads of the chattering class have become deaf to these pleas. Rhetorical attacks that hit below the belt are nothing new, but sometimes, one side takes it far beyond the normal limits of political discourse.
Recently, a Democratic politician appeared on national television and implied that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, might have brought about the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Of course, he provided no evidence to support his claim, and he later walked it back. But the fact remains that he was willing to put forth a brazen lie to score cheap political points.
Castro Slanders Kushner
In an appearance on CNN, Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) made a startling — and untrue — claim about Jared Kushner. He implied that Kushner, and “U.S. intelligence” could have disseminated an “enemies” list that was seen by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Castro indicated that Khashoggi could have been on the supposed list, and that this may have brought about his murder.
Surprisingly, CNN anchor Poppy Harlow pushed back against Castro’s claims, stating that the network had not discovered any evidence supporting the accusation. The representative, however, stuck to his guns, saying that he had seen “reporting to that effect.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders slammed Castro on Twitter:
“@JoaquinCastrotx’s allegation is an outrageous slanderous lie without a shred of proof, it’s reprehensible for a sitting Congressman and supposed ‘news’ outlets to continue citing an article that used unnamed sources and was completely debunked.”
Later, the representative tried to walk back his comments, stating that he didn’t intend to accuse Kushner of “orchestrating anything.” He claimed he is merely “asking for Congress to open an investigation of whether any US intelligence was shared with Saudi Arabia that led to political persecution or killing.”
Weeks after Khashoggi went missing, Saudi Arabian media indicated that the journalist was killed in a “fistfight” at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Saudi authorities have arrested 18 suspects and fired key intelligence officials.
Can The Left Go Any Lower?
Progressives have increasingly ramped up their efforts to attack their political opponents and push their agenda. While many have witnessed the mob tactics being used by leftist activists, there have been plenty of rhetorical attacks designed to discredit the president and the conservative movement. In many cases, they have used outright lies to sway public opinion against the right.
This story isn’t the first instance in which the left has used lies to tie the Trump administration to the death of Khashoggi. Others claimed that Trump’s constant criticism of the media opened the door for violence against journalists. Of course, this notion is an obvious deception; nations like Saudi Arabia have routinely killed members of the press who speak out against their government.
It’s easy to see this behavior as an annoyance, but these are more than simple parlor tricks. The progressive left is going to dangerous lengths to demonize their political opposition. During the Kavanaugh hearings, they weren’t satisfied with objecting to the judge’s views, they put forth uncorroborated allegations of sexual assault.
Castro’s own uncorroborated allegations against Kushner seem to be nothing more than a reckless political attack. In this case, it was so egregious that even CNN — not exactly an outlet that is friendly to the right — pushed back on the his claims. As political conversations become increasingly heated, this story demonstrates the lengths to which many on the left are willing to go to further their cause, and it does not appear that there will be a return to normalcy anytime soon.