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GOP Congressional Recruit Touted by Congresswoman Susan Brooks has History of Pushing Conspiracy Theories

Candidate backed by Brooks promoted right-wing conspiracy theories

A new report this morning by Talking Points Memo reveals that Irina Vilariño, a candidate touted by Congresswoman Susan Brooks – the NRCC’s recruitment chair – has a long history of posting and pushing inflammatory rhetoric and conspiracy theories online.

Vilariño repeatedly spread lies and misinformation, including claims that President Obama was born in Kenya and that George Soros was involved in attempt to derail a Supreme Court nomination – even pushing lies from accounts tied to the QAnon right-wing conspiracy.

“Congresswoman Brooks has enthusiastically touted a candidate who has pushed despicable and dangerous rumors and conspiracy theories online,” said DCCC spokesperson Mike Gwin. “Does Congresswoman Brooks still think Vilariño is a great candidate and does Brooks stand by the dangerous rhetoric that Vilariño has used?”

Talking Points Memo: GOP House Recruit Touted Obama Birther Video, Other Conspiracy Theories

Cameron Joseph
May 15, 2019

A House candidate that national Republicans have touted as an example of improved diversity recruitment has a long history of touting conspiracy theories — including a video that’s deceptively edited to make it sound as if President Obama said he wasn’t born in the United States.

Restaurateur Irina Vilariño is running for a Miami-based House seat against Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), who unseated three-term Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) last fall. National Republicans have highlighted the Cuban-born immigrant’s campaign to argue that they are recruiting a diverse class of candidates.


In other recent tweets, she touted conservative provocateur Dinesh D’Souza’s suggestion that Obama cheated to get into Columbia University (“inquiring minds would like to know,” she said), highlighted a claim that liberal donor George Soros was behind an effort to torpedo Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation (“follow the money”), and promoted an unfounded claim that Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, was a promiscuous alcoholic. That final claim comes from an account that touts QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory that the “deep state” is out to get Trump.


Vilariño was one of five female candidates that National Republican Congressional Committee recruitment chair Susan Brooks (R-IN) recently highlighted to her GOP colleagues to show the party was improving on recruiting nonwhite and female candidates. Brooks highlighted her campaign in a closed-door meeting, and later mentioned Vilariño as she talked up the NRCC’s recruitment efforts in a discussion with Roll Call.




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