During a hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee on white nationalism this Tuesday, California Democratic congressman Ted Lieu questioned conservative activist Candace Owens, at one point replaying past comments she made which many thought downplayed the history of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.
“Of all the people that Republicans could have selected, they picked Candace Owens. I don’t know Ms. Owens, I’m not going to characterize her. I’m going to let her own words do the talking,” Lieu said before taking out his cellphone.
Lieu then played a 30-second video of Owens comments, which she made at a London event in December to mark the launch of her organization Turning Point USA in the UK.
At the event, Owens was asked by an audience member how British conservatives who want to promote national sovereignty can avoid the dirty word “nationalist.” But Owens said people shouldn’t shun the “nationalist” label.
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— Majin Wad🏳️🌈🇮🇱🇵🇸🇺🇦🇺🇸🏴☠️ (@hardlyparty) April 9, 2019
“He was a national socialist,” Owens says in the video. “But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted — he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism. In thinking about how we could go bad down the line, I don’t really have an issue with nationalism. I really don’t.”
After playing the clip, Lieu asked Eileen Hershenov of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) whether Owens’ past comments feed into “white nationalist ideology” when people attempt to “legitimize” Hitler.
“It does, Mr. Lieu,” Hershenov replied. “I know that Ms. Owens distanced herself from those comments later but we expressed great concern over the original comments.”
Incensed by Lieu’s line of questioning, Owens’ said that he was assuming that black people wouldn’t seek out the full context of her comments.
“I think it’s pretty apparent that Mr. Lieu believes that black people are stupid and will not pursue the full clip…That was unbelievably dishonest … I’m deeply offended by the insinuation of revealing that clip without the question that was asked of me,” Owens said.
“The hearing today is not about white nationalism or hate crimes, it’s about fear-mongering, power and control,” Owens continued. “The goal here is to scare blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims, helping [Democrats] censor dissenting opinions … helping them regain control.”
Update: Responding to Owens’ accusation of taking her words out of context, Lieu retweeted the video which contains her full remarks from the December event.
The below video contains the full answer of Candace Owens on nationalism and Hitler. https://t.co/j6VHZU2J0f
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 9, 2019
Featured image via screen grab