Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ press secretary says she now understands why a tweet she sent this week could be perceived as antisemitic.
After initially calling the “smears” against her since-deleted tweet “absurd and laughable,” Christina Pushaw tweeted a statement Friday saying the Anti-Defamation League of Florida explained to her what was wrong with her comment. While she said she regrets the initial post, she did not apologize for the tweet, which referenced the Rothschilds, who are sometimes the subject of antisemitic conspiracy theories.
“After being educated about something that was a blind spot for me, I now understand why people might take offense at what I tweeted, regardless of my intent,” Pushaw wrote. “The Anti-Defamation League of Florida (ADL) explained how that comment could be perceived as an antisemitic ‘dog whistle.’ I had the chance to speak with their representatives. During that conversation, I expressed my appreciation for their mission of educating the public about antisemitism and my regret for making an uninformed and offensive social media post.”
Pushaw, who spent time working in politics in the Republic of Georgia, on Tuesday tweeted her reaction to the country this month announcing it would implement a COVID-19 passport. In June, the managing director of the France-based financial firm Rothschild & Co. met with Georgian leaders, prompting Pushaw to mention the connection.
“Georgia decided to enact a ‘Green Pass’ system (biomedical security state). Immediately after that, the Rothschilds show up to discuss the attractive investment environment in Georgia (lol). No weird conspiracy theory stuff here!” Pushaw tweeted. That tweet has since been deleted.
The Rothschilds, a Jewish family, have been the subject of antisemitic conspiracy theories that Jewish families secretly control the world and global banking as well as stereotypes that Jews are disloyal and greedy abusers of power. According to ADL, antisemitic conspiracy theorists believe the Rothschilds, whose Frankfurt bank grew to prominence in 19th-century Europe, impeded the American Revolution, financed Nazism and the Bolshevik Revolution, carried out the 9/11 attacks and built the state of Israel.
While Pushaw acknowledged her tweet was wrong, she also took aim at her critics and media organizations that denounced her tweet.
“It is important to make the distinction between an ignorant comment and a malicious one,” she wrote. “Making a mistake and posting something offensive does not mean someone is a hateful or bigoted person, and it’s unfortunate that political opponents (in left-wing media as well as politicians) leaped at the chance to smear me.”
The ADL on Wednesday also denounced Pushaw’s tweet and her subsequent defenses of it.
“It’s deeply disturbing to see these kinds of conspiracies promoted by a member of Governor Ron DeSantis’ staff,” ADL Florida Regional Director Sarah Emmons said in a statement.
But Pushaw expressed her gratitude to ADL for holding a conversation with her over the matter.
“ADL, on the other hand, was willing to have a conversation in good faith and work with me to make sure I understand what was wrong with what I wrote so that I do not make the same mistake again, and I deeply appreciate that,” Pushaw saw.
DeSantis has always been a steadfast ally of the Jewish community and Israel, she wrote.
Within months of taking office, DeSantis traveled to Israel on a trade delegation, where he met with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This summer, the Governor accused the United Nations of antisemitism for condemning Israel while not condemning China.
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 (@ChristinaPushaw) November 19, 2021