Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) appeared on 'Morning Joe' Wednesday to defend his decision to send out names of large Trump donors in the San Antonio area. Castro, the brother of presidential candidate Julian Castro and chairman of his campaign, spoke about his hope that he has "started a conversation" by tweeting the names to his 200,000 followers.
"This is a lament about all of us going to the restaurants these people own, businesses they own, we patronize these places and they're giving this money, their money to this guy who's taking their money and using to buy Facebook ads talking about how Hispanics are invading this country," Castro said. "And there is a cost to that. We saw the cost of that in El Paso over the weekend, that people died. The manifesto that that guy wrote could have been written by the people that write Trump's speeches."
Host Joe Scarborough defending the Congressman's actions, calling it "already public record." Mika Scarborough said Castro is "not releasing any new information" or "releasing any secrets," he is simplifying "reframing" information. Mika questioned who is actually creating the danger - releasing the names of donors or the people making the donations.
"If you're proud of funding President Trump, you need to understand that that will be public information. And all you're doing is trying to explain what it is in terms of the policies or the morals that you are funding," Mika defended Castro.
"What I hope is that this has started a conversation about what exactly Donald Trump is doing with these people's money. And I hope donors in San Antonio and donors throughout the country, unless you support the white nationalism and the racism that Donald Trump is paying for and fueling, then I hope that you, as a person of good conscience, will think twice about contributing to his campaign," Castro warned.
Co-host Willie Geist tried several times to get Castro to explain what he was trying to do by publishing names of local Trump donors, such as repenting for support.
"Congressman, as you look at this list, and you even put their addresses out there. It's easy to find them. These people are undoubtedly already being harassed online or perhaps face to face in some cases, they could be. What do you say to those people this morning when you say, 'I made a campaign donation and now I'm being harassed? I'm going to have people protesting outside my business or perhaps even my home?' What do you want them to say? Do you want them to repent for Donald Trump or what do you want from them?" Geist asked Castro.
"If you believe rhetoric can lead to incitement, even if it triggers one terrible person, does it give you any pause to put these names out in public?" Geist asked.
"They're already public, they're already out there," he answered.
"There are 11 retirees and one homemaker who are not public," Geist responded.
"This was already circulating. I shared it," Castro defended himself.