Mike Huckabee apologizes for blaming swastika graffiti on "Jewish liberals"

The ex-Fox News host sent a message to his audience about a completely bogus story

Published November 17, 2016 4:20PM (EST)

In this Jan. 31, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at Inspired Grounds Cafe in West Des Moines, Iowa.  (AP)
In this Jan. 31, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks at Inspired Grounds Cafe in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP)

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has apologized for posting a fake news story that blamed an anti-Semitic hate crime at Northwestern University on "liberal, Jewish" students.

The controversy occurred when Huckabee posted an article from the Conservative Tribune on his Facebook page with the claim that a swastika spray-painted on a nondenominational church at the Northwestern campus had been put there by liberal Jewish students seeking to discredit Trump. In fact the swastika had been spray-painted in March, not after the November election of Trump, and there is no indication that the students were Jewish or politically motivated.

Huckabee was called out by New York Daily News writer Shaun King and quickly apologized.

“They accused me of spreading false information and hatred, and demanded an apology,” Huckabee told The Forward, a U.S. Jewish publication. "And they’re right, I do owe readers an apology."

When Huckabee first put the story on his Facebook page, the post read, "They’re two liberal, Jewish Northeastern students who were trying to smear Trump and his supporters." In the comments section of the posting, Huckabee wrote, "Everything You Know Is Wrong Dept."

As a wave of hate crimes continues to spread across the nation following Trump's election, President-elect Trump and his surrogates seem determined to either ignore it or claim that many of the incidents were fabricated.

Meanwhile the hashtag #JewishResistance has started to trend on Facebook, with Jews expressing solidarity toward Muslims who are at risk of experiencing discrimination due to Trump's impending presidency.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. He specializes in covering science and history, and is particularly passionate about climate change, animal science, disability rights, plastic pollution and a wide range of political issues. He has interviewed many prominent figures (reflecting his diverse interests) including President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin (2002-present), comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2") and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Anti-semitism Jews Mike Huckabee Swastika Trump