PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) – Controversial tweets from Republican Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette have surfaced showing comments some consider homophobic and Islamaphobic.
The tweets were shared by former President Donald Trump’s former acting national intelligence director Richard Grenell, who like Trump is a supporter of Barnette’s opponent Mehmet Oz.
Barnette’s tweets shared by Grenell date between 2013 to 2020, including a 2013 tweet from Barnette’s account that says “Please PRAY for my babies and me. We are on our way to California and there’s a homosexual female…” followed by a Facebook link that was disabled.
In 2015 Barnette tweeted in a replay to the conservative Wayne Dupree Show “That’s the point. Many homosexuals LEAD with their sexual preference. Leave d immortality in their bedroom.”
Barnette also tweeted several comments regarding Islam, including a 2015 tweet stating “Pedophilia is a Cornerstone of Islam” and a 2017 tweet saying “Islam is a theocracy, should be banned from USA. Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism, and” followed by a Facebook link. The full name of the book is “Slavery, Terrorism, and Islam.”
On the afternoon of the Dec. 15 2015 Republican debate Barnette tweeted “We must understand the mentality of the enemy. The enemy is #Islam! #Presidential Debate.”
Barnette, a strong supporter of former President Trump, also tweeted several comments regarding the former president during the 2016 campaign.
In a 2015 tweet, Barnette stated her support for Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, saying “I like #Trump2016… he’s a riot. But, he’s nothing more than HEADLINES… very little substance.” A second tweet from the 2016 primary prior to Trump’s nomination said “#Trump2016 moral character is questionable! Braggadocious+constant jabs+4 bankrupt+brags bending rules.”
On Thursday new ads claiming Barnette supported the Black Lives Matter movement surfaced online through a pro-Oz SuperPAC. Around the same time the ad came out a Barnette tweet from July 2020 showed her comment “#BLM #DefundThePolice.”
abc27 reached out to the Barnette campaign for comment on the newly surfaced tweets. In an interview with NBC Barnette denied that the tweet regarding pedophilia and Islam was from her account despite it showing on her verified page.
The emergence of Barnette’s tweets followed a barrage of questions regarding her military history and background, including from former President Trump, and Barnette’s rise in the polls that show her tied for first with Oz and Dave McCormick.
A Fox News poll found Oz with 22%, McCormick with 20%, and Barnette with 19% support in the primary, all within the margin of error.
Trump’s statement on Thursday said Barnette “will never be able to win the General Election against the Radical Left Democrats” and that “she has many things in her past which have not been properly explained or vetted.”
The former President concluded by expressing his support for Oz, who Trump said “is the only one who will be able to easily defeat the Crazed, Lunatic Democrat in Pennsylvania.”
Previously Trump has attacked McCormick, calling him the candidate of special interests, globalists, and the Washington establishment during a rally in western Pennsylvania last week.
On Thursday afternoon Barnette tweeted “The fact is that the establishment does not like when regular people rise up and try to run for office. They don’t like when people like you and me have the chance to actually make real change. They’re scared and they should be. The status quo is dying.”
In an interview with abc27’s Dennis Owens late Thursday afternoon, Barnette said she doesn’t “have any bones that are gonna fall out of my closet” amid questions regarding her military experience and background.
Barnette says she’s wanted to be vetted, but the media didn’t pay enough attention to her early in the race when she was finishing third behind Oz and McCormick. A WHTM/Emerson College Polling/The Hill Pennsylvania primary poll released on April 7 had Barnette six to seven points behind Oz and McCormick and tied with Jeff Bartos and Carla Sands
When asked about her military credentials, Barnette said she served in the Army Reserves in Alabama and Missouri from 1990 to 2000. An Alabama National Guard spokesman confirmed Barnette served there from 1993 to 98.
Barnette added that there was a misunderstanding between the Washington Examiner reporter and her lean and mean campaign staff. She says she’s done everything she can to get her name out there before May 17.
“I have done nothing wrong and I refuse to receive that or to apologize for anything. I’m unapologetic. I have been here. I have been trying to knock down people’s doors to get in, to have them to talk to me. And people just shut me out. They didn’t want to talk to me. I’ve been instead of doing this vetting five days before the election, I’ve been in a statistical tie for first place for four weeks. I’m I keep saying that it’s not my fault. It’s theirs.”
Unlike Oz and McCormick, Barnette has spent less than $2 million in a race where the airwaves have been dominated by other candidates.
“What do you think they’re going to do with your money when they get to D.C.,” asked Barnette. “Do you think they’re going to become fiscal conservatives? I don’t think so.”
On Wednesday Barnette was endorsed by the super PAC “Club for Growth Action,” which launched a $2 million ad buy for Barnette.
Barnette has been endorsed by Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who is leading in his race despite pushes by establishment Republicans to support candidates who may appear more moderate.
This is not the first time Trump has voiced a vocal un-endorsement of a Pennsylvania candidate. In April Trump called gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain a “coward” for not helping overturn the 2020 election.
Pennsylvania’s primary is May 17.