Ted Lieu plays a clip of Candace Owens' comments on Hitler to ridicule Republicans for inviting her to a hearing on white nationalism

TwitterDemocratic Rep. Ted Lieu during a hearing on Tuesday on white nationalism.
  • Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu on Tuesday played a video clip of incendiary remarks Candace Owens made in December on Adolf Hitler and nationalism.
  • Owens was testifying on Tuesday on white nationalism at the invitation of GOP lawmakers.
  • “Of all the people that Republicans could have selected, they picked Candace Owens,” Lieu said before playing the clip. “I don’t know Ms. Owens. I’m not going to characterise her. I’m going to let her own words do the talking.”

Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California on Tuesday played a video of Candace Owens’ controversial comments on Adolf Hitler and nationalism as the rising conservative star testified on white nationalism at the invitation of GOP lawmakers.

The hearing was held by the House Judiciary Committee, and Owens was among eight witnesses on the panel.

During his remarks, Lieu noted that the minority party is allowed to choose its own witnesses for such hearings.

“Of all the people that Republicans could have selected, they picked Candace Owens,” Lieu said. “I don’t know Ms. Owens. I’m not going to characterise her. I’m going to let her own words do the talking.”


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The California lawmaker played 30 seconds of remarks Owens made at a conference in London late last year.

She said at the time that she thought the definition of “nationalism” “gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism – globalism is what I don’t want.”

“Whenever we say ‘nationalism,’ the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler,” she said. “You know, he was a national socialist, but if Hitler had just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine.”

She added: “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. That’s not, to me, that’s not nationalism. So in thinking about how we could go bad down the line, I don’t really have an issue with nationalism. I really don’t. I think that it’s OK.”

After playing the video clip of Owens’ comments, Lieu asked Eileen Hershenov, the senior vice president for policy at the Anti-Defamation League, an organisation that focuses on combating anti-Semitism, whether people’s attempts to “legitimise” Hitler fed into “white nationalist ideology.”

“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.”


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Rising conservative star Candace Owens is slammed over her newly surfaced Hitler comments

Later in the hearing, Owens bashed Lieu for playing the clip.

“I think it’s pretty apparent that Mr. Lieu believes that black people are stupid and will not pursue the full clip,” she said, adding that the move was “unbelievably dishonest.”

“I’m deeply offended by the insinuation of revealing that clip without the question that was asked of me,” Owens said.

Owens is the communications director of the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA, which has a strong relationship with the White House and increasing influence within the Republican Party.

Last May, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Candace Owens of Turning Point USA is having a big impact on politics in our Country. She represents an ever expanding group of very smart ‘thinkers,’ and it is wonderful to watch and hear the dialogue going on…so good for our Country!”

Owens’ comments on Hitler were made in December but surfaced in February. At the time, Turning Point USA told INSIDER that her remarks were “of course being misconstrued and taken out of context.”

During Tuesday’s hearing, Owens slammed Democrats and the overall purpose of the occasion.

“The hearing today is not about white nationalism or hate crimes – it’s about fear-mongering, power, and control,” Owens said, adding that “the goal here is to scare blacks, Hispanics, gays, and Muslims into helping [Democrats] censor dissenting opinions, ultimately into helping them regain control.”

“White supremacy, racism, white nationalism, words that once held real meaning, have now become nothing more than election strategies,” she said.

Multiple studies have found that white nationalism and right-wing violence have been on the rise since Trump took office.

After the hearing, Owens told INSIDER via email that Lieu had “embarrassed himself” and “exposed the Democrat Party for pushing a fundamentally dishonest narrative without allowing the subject of their narratives (i.e. me) to respond.”

Owens said that some of the other Democrats at the hearing engaged in “more honest efforts to get to the truth than Rep. Lieu,” but that “the entire premise of the Democrats in today’s hearing was completely disingenuous, intended to spin a narrative that white nationalism is an existential threat to the United States and the biggest ‘boogeyman’ facing our country and culture.”

She went on to say that white nationalism had become the “preferred scapegoat” of “a party that wants every minority group to think of themselves as victims, and to hate White Americans.”

“These efforts by the left are incredibly destructive to our national unity and it truly saddens me,” Owens said. “I’ve never experienced one ounce of racism in all my time in conservative circles. I can’t say the same for my interactions with liberals.”

Owens told INSIDER that “of course” she believes racism “exists and is a problem” but said “it’s completely over-hyped by the Left” and accused Democrats of exploiting fears of racism to try to win back the White House.

Lieu’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.

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