Kathy Barnette, the sudden contender for the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race, was shown one of her tweets during a television interview days before the state’s May 17 primary.
The tweet wasn’t visible to viewers, but it was displayed on the phone of NBC News reporter Dasha Burns.
Burns showed her phone to Barnette and said: “I mean, this tweet says: ‘Pedophilia is a cornerstone of Islam.’”
Barnette said: “Yeah, no, I don’t think that’s me. I would never have said that,” according to a clip of the interview posted on YouTube.
“OK, I would have never said that, because I don’t believe that,” Barnette added, according to a longer version of her reply posted on NBCNews.com.
But Barnette did post what Burns said she did.
Here is what Barnette tweeted from her verified Twitter account on April 10, 2015:
“Pedophilia is a Cornerstone of Islam ⋆ UFP NEWS http://fb.me/2zuiyNeXH”
Pedophilia is a Cornerstone of Islam ⋆ UFP NEWS http://t.co/PmuXZE7h80
— Kathy Barnette (@Kathy4Truth) April 10, 2015
The tweet is still live.
The link in Barnette’s tweet is not active. But an archived link shows that two days before her tweet, the link went to that headline on UniversalFreePress.com, also known as UFP News. The article under that headline claimed that child molestation is widespread throughout the Muslim world.
UFPNews.com “provides conservative patriots who love liberty a different perspective on government, politics and world news,” according to the ZoomInfo database.
Barnette’s campaign did not reply to our emails requesting comment.
Barnette has made other anti-Muslim statements.
In a speech uploaded to YouTube in 2015, Barnette said, “The mindset of a Muslim is very different from the mindset of Americans, and that’s the reason why we cannot fully understand the depth of the depravity, the depth of the evil.” She said Islam is a “worldview” as well as a religion, and “we have a right to discriminate against worldviews. We discriminated against Hitler’s Nazi Germany view of the world, right?”
Barnette tweeted in 2015: “There is nothing rational about Islam.”
Axios reported on several other anti-Muslim tweets by Barnette, including posts critical of former President Barack Obama that falsely called him a Muslim.
In an interview May 15, 2022, Fox News host Shannon Bream asked Barnette about her tweets about Islam, though not about the pedophilia tweet specifically. Barnette said the tweets were “not even full thoughts.”
“Let me just say in almost all of those tweets, especially when you look at the time frame we were living in at that particular time, we had the Obama administration bringing in a lot of Syrian refugees at that time,” Barnette said.
“The overwhelming majority of the tweets that are now being presented are not even full thoughts,” Barnette added. “So I can’t provide a lot of context because, again, it’s almost 10 years ago. That’s how far they have to go back to try to find anything on me.”
Dr. Mehmet Oz, another candidate for the GOP nomination, told the Associated Press that Barnette’s tweet is “disqualifying.” If elected, the former TV personality would be the Senate’s first Muslim.
Contest could help decide Senate control
The Pennsylvania race is for the seat held by Republican Pat Toomey, who was first elected in 2010 and decided not to seek re-election.
Besides Barnette and Oz, polls indicate the other major contender for the GOP nomination is former hedge fund CEO Dave McCormick.
The Nov. 8 general election race is rated as a toss-up and as “tilts Republican.” The outcome could help determine which party controls the Senate, now split 50-50.
Barnette said in an interview that she never tweeted comments linking pedophilia and Islam.
In a 2015 tweet, Barnette shared a headline that read, “Pedophilia is a Cornerstone of Islam.”
We rate Barnette’s interview statement Pants of Fire!
PolitiFact staff researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this article.
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