The liberal website “deathandtaxesmag.com”—which bills itself as real and satire—accused presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway of spreading false rumors about the shooting that took place in Alexandria, Va. on Wednesday, critically injuring Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and several other people. They were all there for baseball practice for Republican members of Congress in advance of Thursday night’s annual congressional baseball game.
What bothered the website’s Tim Donnelly was a tweet by Conway that referred to South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, saying that he believed that he talked to the shooter, who asked him if the congressmen were Republicans or Democrats.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) June 14, 2017
Donnelly said that Conway’s tweet was a “knee-jerk partisan reaction,” and he equated it with fake news:
“Basically, Conway is opening a line of thinking, without having any facts at hand, that draws a direct connection from moments like the stupid Kathy Griffin incident to this shooting. It’s a knee-jerk, partisan impulse that could have dangerous implications, and not something you’d expect from an official White House employee (usually). In a sensible world, the White House would be saying getting shot is bad regardless of your political party. Instead, we see how fake news spreads: a rumor fits your point of view so perfectly that it suddenly becomes fact.”
But the so-called knee-jerk reaction proved to be correct, as details emerged that the shooter—James T. Hodgkinson—had a long history of violence and support of progressive causes, including volunteering for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Maybe the next time Conway tweets, Donnelly won’t be so quick to criticize her.