Kathy Barnette, a Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, has a social media history packed with anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ sentiments, as well as conspiracy theories about former President Obama.
Why it matters: Barnette's social media posts have drawn scrutiny because she has garnered a lot of buzz in the closely watched Pennsylvania race, surprising — and frightening — many influential Republicans in Washington.
Driving the news: Former President Donald Trump warned Republicans Thursday that Barnette's history will preclude her from winning a general election in Pennsylvania. Trump has endorsed celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz in the race.Trump said there are many things that have "not been properly explained or vetted" about her past. But if they're explained, she will have a "bright future" in the Republican party.Trump ally Steve Bannon told Axios that Barnette has resonated among the Republican base by not conceding her own 2020 House race loss."Pennsylvania is MAGA v. ULTRA MAGA," Bannon said.
Barnette told NBC News that Trump's comments are a positive step forward and she is eager to work with the GOP."[W]e know that President Trump does not mince words," she said. "He’s a very straight shooter. And I look forward to working with the president.”"I look forward to working with them to win a very important seat. Not just in Pennsylvania, but for our nation," she said.
Flashback: In tweets dating back to 2013, Barnette has attacked Islam and Muslims, and shared conspiracy theories that Obama was Muslim.Several of Barnette's tweets originated on Facebook. Many of the tweets contain links to now-deleted Facebook posts and videos.In one of the tweets, Barnette said "pedophilia is a cornerstone of Islam."Yes, but: Barnette told NBC News, "I don't think that's me. I would never have said that. Okay, I would have never said that, because I don't believe that.”Muslims and Islam
Barnette's tweets about Islam include her saying...