During a CNN interview on Friday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) defending using Congress’ time and money to hold a hearing on Diamond & Silk’s baseless claim that Facebook is censoring them by citing a well-known conspiracy website, Gateway Pundit.
“[Diamond & Silk’s] message is their Facebook and their Twitters and their YouTubes have been suppressed by algorithms,” King asserted. “I know that’s true.”
Host Chris Cuomo challenged King on the point, asking him why he believes it’s true. Data analyzed by ThinkProgress indicates not only that Diamond & Silk haven’t been suppressed by Facebook, but that their total interactions have actually grown since last year — something that can’t be said for liberal pages.
“How do you know it’s true? Facebook says it’s not true,” Cuomo pointed out.
King replied by citing the Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft.
“I have data that came to me from Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit, and I would have liked to have had him as a witness yesterday,” King said.
“The conspiracy-advancing blogger, the Gateway Pundit — that’s who you want to rely on as your source?” Cuomo pushed back.
“I would never describe Jim Hoft that way,” King said. “I would describe him as an objective conservative pundit — yes — but not a conspiracy-advancing one.”
Cuomo noted that Hoft recently identified the wrong person as the Las Vegas shooter in an attempt to smear Democrats. Hoft has also published false, incendiary stories using nothing more than “Reddit users” as sources, and played a leading role in pushing false conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health during the 2016 campaign.
But none of that bothers King, who responded to Cuomo by pointing out that “occasionally people do make mistakes, and that would be true of you and me.”
“A mistake assumes that you had no intention to deceive, that it was innocent,” Cuomo replied. “The idea of pushing that Hillary Clinton is unfit to serve because she has some mystery malady — what about that? What a coincidence, advanced by the same person.”
King quickly seized upon the opportunity to change the topic to Hillary Clinton.
“I would say that was a judgment call, a speculative judgment call on what evidence was available to him at the time,” King said. “But additionally, if you bring Hillary into this, she was judged by a completely different standard.”
Not only was the entire premise of Thursday’s Diamond & Silk hearing a lie, but the pro-Trump sister-duo made at least two obviously false statements during their sworn testimony — that Facebook censored them, and that they never received money from the Trump campaign (as FEC filing explicitly indicates that’s not the case).
On the same day that the Diamond & Silk hearing took place, not a single Republican attended a meeting Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie had with members of Congress. Asked about that during a CNN interview on Friday, Wylie said he thinks “it’s unfortunate” that Republicans “decided to focus on Diamond & Silk rather than talking about real substantive issues that affect national security.”