Candace Owens Fumes as Her Own Words on Hitler, Nationalism Are Played in Congress

Republicans invited the controversial conservative commentator to a hearing.

A handful of jaw-dropping, if not confusing, moments emerged from the appearance of Candace Owens before Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on white nationalism and hate crimes. There was Owens’s claim that the hearing itself was a “fear-mongering” sham constructed by the Democrats in order to “scare” minorities. Later, the firebrand media figure and conservative activist, who had been invited to speak before the committee by its Republican members, also asserted that the GOP’s Southern strategy was “a myth.”

But the moment that sparked the most fireworks belonged to Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). At the very least, it appeared to draw outright fury from Owens.

“In congressional hearings, the minority party gets to select its own witnesses,” Lieu started at the top of his remarks. “Of all the people the Republicans could have selected, they picked Candace Owens.”

“I don’t know Ms. Owens. I’m not going to characterize her,” he continued. “I’m going to let her own words do the talking.” He then pulled out his phone to play a clip of Owens that had gone viral in February and was widely seen as a shocking defense of Adolf Hitler and his nationalist program.

Owens is seen fuming as the audio is played. She later claimed that Lieu’s demonstration was evidence that the California Democrat believed that “black people are stupid” and urged lawmakers to watch the full video of her remarks.

This isn’t the first time Lieu has let a recording speak for itself. In June, amid outrage over the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, Lieu made headlines by playing audio of crying children who had been detained and separated from their parents. His strategy appears to have been effective once again.

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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