Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) tried to have it both ways on Monday, first by denying she ever promoted the “great replacement” theory that reportedly inspired a “racially motivated” mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, over the weekend, then by amping up anti-immigrant rhetoric a short time later.
Recent Facebook ads from the lawmaker have alluded to the far-right conspiracy theory, which claims that white people are being intentionally replaced by minorities and immigrants as part of a “permanent election insurrection” by Democrats.
The ads led Stefanik’s hometown newspaper, Albany’s Times Union, to condemn her “hateful rhetoric” on Friday, one day before 10 people were killed by a teen shooter who left a 180-page manifesto claiming white Americans are at risk of being replaced by people of color by immigration, interracial marriage and eventually violence.
On Monday, Stefanik attempted to condemn the media, rival politicians and pretty much anyone else who noticed that her ads seemed to promote the same “great replacement” message that apparently inspired Saturday’s shooting.
The post included a quote from her senior adviser, Alex DeGrasse, claiming she has “never advocated for any racist position or made any racist statement.”
But if you thought Saturday’s tragedy might inspire Stefanik to tone down her rhetoric, you’d be sadly mistaken.
A few minutes after posting her statement denying even the remote possibility that her previous statements might be inspiring attacks like Saturday’s, Stefanik decided to double down on the rhetoric.
Democrats desperately want wide open borders and mass amnesty for illegals allowing them to vote.
Like the vast majority of Americans, Republicans want to secure our borders and protect election integrity.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) May 16, 2022
Many Twitter users weren’t impressed by Stefanik’s responses ― or the timing.
She promotes the great replacement theory moments after issuing a press release condemning Democrats for accusing her of promoting the great replacement theory.
10 innocent people are dead, 8 of them because they are Black, but white supremacy gonna white supremacy. https://t.co/C1mQQWPm3Z
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) May 16, 2022
The bodies of those killed by the white supremacist in Buffalo aren't even buried but GOP's Elise Stefanik is continuing to radicalize more people by lying that white people are being replaced by open borders. There is NO Bottom to their vileness. https://t.co/eOs7qIwwrh
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) May 16, 2022
The racist massacre in Buffalo has the GOP just leaning harder into the "great replacement theory" that inspired the shooter. This is beyond despicable. And as I write in today's column, this crap has inspired multiple shootings. Pay attention.https://t.co/mRFlUdSqTAhttps://t.co/wKSYOe26GJ
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) May 16, 2022
Days after a white nationalist targeted a Black neighborhood and killed ten people, you are still espousing replacement theory? Are you kidding me? Have you no shame or humanity? https://t.co/16YFA294RM
— Matt Putorti (@MattPutorti) May 16, 2022
@EliseStefanik if u want to be a leader, start here:
I disavow White Replacement Theory
I condemn the shooting - and the shooter - in Buffalo
I regret inciting people to hate
Joe Biden does NOT want wide open borders
The 2020 election was legitimate
Jan 6 was an abomination
— Billy Ray (@BillyRay5229) May 16, 2022
Why are there no repercussions for blatant political lies? https://t.co/Uraj1csmpr
— David Lazarus (@Davidlaz) May 16, 2022
— Mallory McMorrow (@MalloryMcMorrow) May 16, 2022
perhaps this tweet would be better in manifesto form? https://t.co/u7hWZqnwmD
— alex kasprak (@alexkasprak) May 16, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.